Last month, the Miami Heat won their second straight NBA Championship. They were led by arguably the most scrutinized player in NBA history, LeBron James. Despite winning a title in 2012 over Oklahoma City, many felt that LeBron needed to lead the Heat to another one for validation. Now that he has accomplished that mission, it is time to focus on other players who have yet to win even one ring. These guys are stars that have been given a pass by many due to the scrutiny thrown LeBron’s way. Some are in a better position than others to have a chance to win one in the immediate future, but either way, it is validation time for all the players that will be mentioned. Starting with…
1. Dwight Howard- The Dwightmare has now landed in Houston. His exits from Orlando, and L.A. has ruined much of the goodwill towards him around the league. As LeBron has shown, the best way to get some of that back is to win. He claims part of the reason went to Houston because he felt they were closer to winning a ring than the Lakers. He will be a vital cog in helping that to happen. It is time for him to stop whining, work with Kevin McHale, and Hakeem Olajuwon to help develop a post game, and carry the Rockets to a championship.
2. Kevin Durant- Kevin Durant is one of, if not the best scorers in the NBA. He has already reached top tier status when it comes to NBA stars. He has the endorsements, and now Jay-Z as his agent. A ring will take him to the next level of superstardom. He and Russell Westbrook comprise one of the best 1-2 punches in the League. While the Thunder have not made many moves to help improve the team, those two are enough to always keep them around the top of the heap. KD has the talent to lead them over the top, and it is time for him to do so.
3. Derrick Rose- The Chicago Bulls are coming off of an injury-riddled season that saw them still make it to the second round, and give the Miami Heat a scrap of a series even though they only won one game. They did so without the services of Derrick Rose. Thanks to his brother, and doctors, hope was given that he would return for the playoffs. We all know how that story went, and Derrick Rose looked bad because of it. He will return this coming season, and it is time for him to bring the Bulls their first ring since the Jordan Era. He may have the most pressure of any player on this list coming into the season due to the way his team performed in his absence last year. It will be interesting to see how he handles it, and if he can get off of this list in 2014.
4. Chris Paul- The Clippers have done as much as they can to set CP3 up to lead a title run. They were able to get Doc Rivers in the the garage sale that has been the Celtics offseason. They have provided him a shooter with J.J. Redick. Brought in all around players in Jared Dudley, and Matt Barnes. They also gave him his max contract, and made him the face of the franchise. With the Western Conference being in a state of flux, and wide open going into 2014, the Clippers should be considered a contender to make a trip to the Finals. It is time for Chris Paul, and his angry little man complex to lead a talented team to a championship.
Well, there you have the four players that have been given a pass on winning a ring long enough. All of these guys are more than capable of doing so, and have the pieces around them to make it happen in the not too distant future. Since LeBron James had to win two titles to validate himself, it is time for these players to get at least one championship behind their name. It will be fun to see which one can and will do so first.
Note:Carmelo Anthony is another player that could be on this list. However, with the Knicks not being a serious contender, and not being sure if he is a guy that can make others better, he was left off.