There are plenty of Hall of Fame athletes who have never even come close to winning a world championship. So when we were talking to our buddy on the phone a few days ago debating who was the best without a ring, it got us thinking about some of the guys who do have one—but probably shouldn’t. That’s why we put this list together, because while these athletes played a small role in winning a title with their teams, it’s still a little frustrating to know they have something a few all-time greats don’t.
5. D.J. Mbenga, NBA
This dude averaged less than a bucket over the course of his entire career, yet still owns two NBA rings thanks to being on a team with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol in 2009 and 2010. The guy does speak five languages and is heavily involved in charitable work, so he’s proven to be a good dude, but that doesn’t mean he’s worthy of owning more diamonds for his finger than Charles Barkley, John Stockton, Karl Malone or Patrick Ewing.
4. Trent Dilfer, NFL
Though we’re not big on the whole QB Rating thing—mostly because we have no clue how it works—it’s hard to ignore how low Dilfer’s career rating of 70.2 thanks to 16 more INTs than TDs. Known as the ultimate manager of an offense, Dilfer was the beneficiary of a Baltimore Ravens defense that was one of the most dominant the NFL had ever seen. Thanks to his D shutting down the opposition, all Dilfer had to do was play competently and not turn the ball over. That’s exactly what he did in 2000, as he got his first and only Super Bowl win.
3. Adam Morrison, NBA
Much like the aforementioned Mbenga, the former NCAA co-player of the year benefitted from being a benchwarmer on a team that had Phil Jackson as its head coach, and an all-timer in Kobe Bryant leading the way, as Adam Morrison was a part of the back-to-back titles the Lakers won in 2009 and 2010. As a disappointing bust after being the No. 3 overall pick in the ’06 Draft, one would think Morrison contributed to L.A.’s title run, but seeing how he averaged just 1.8 points and 6.6 minutes per game, he did nothing but cheer on his teammates—while earning some serious bling.
2. Craig Counsell, MLB
He may have had one of the most bizarre stances in MLB history, but Craig Counsell also played a major part in getting two title rings as well—we just don’t want to accept it. In his first World Series, he was the scoring run for the Florida Marlins as they beat our beloved Cleveland Indians. Proving it wasn’t just a fluke, Counsell was on base four years later for the Arizona Diamondbacks, watching the decisive run cross home plate in the team’s win over the Yankees.
1. Darko Milicic, NBA
Arguably the biggest bust in the history of the NBA, the former No. 2 overall pick from the stacked 2003 Draft isn’t just out of the league as we type this, but he’s actually got a little hardware for his failed attempt to play with the big boys.Becoming the youngest player to ever play in an NBA Finals game, Darko was part of the 2004 Detroit team that upset the favored L.A. Lakers, earning him some jewelry.