Los Angeles Lakers: 5 best players to never win a ring with the team

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images /
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Los Angeles Lakers
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3. Steve Nash

Much like Karl Malone, the back-to-back MVP Steve Nash is best known for his time on another team. As the leader of Mike D’Antoni’s influential run-and-gun Phoenix Suns teams, Nash racked up three All-NBA First Team appearances, six of his eight All-Star appearances, and five seasons as the NBA’s assist leader.

However, Steve Nash—like Malone— spent his best seasons coming up just short of a title. In 2012, the 38-year-old Nash joined Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, and Pau Gasol on a similarly unmentionable Laker team that failed to win a title.

Unlike the 2004 team, this team was bitten by the injury bug early and often. Steve Nash played just 50 games that season. Superstar Dwight Howard’s body began to breakdown as he lacked his trademark explosive athleticism on both ends of the floor.

To make matters worse, this was also the season that Kobe Bryant tore his Achilles late in the season. This effectively ended Bryant’s Hall of Fame level play.

The team would barely clinch the playoffs without Bryant and were easily swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round. Howard would leave that offseason and Kobe Bryant would embark on a colossal recovery process. He would suffer injuries in the next few seasons and would ultimately retire on the decline.

Steve Nash would retire the following season after playing just fifteen games for the Lakers. He would finish third on the NBA’s All-Time Assist list.

Although he played his entire career without capturing the elusive NBA title, he will likely be inducted into the Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible.