Every NBA player or coach has a goal in mind. That goal is to win a championship ring. Something that they will cherish even after their playing or coaching days are over. Not every player or coach will get to win a ring though. There are a lot of Hall of Famers out there without one. Some are lucky because they get drafted by teams that went on to win. Others are just the opposite because they leave a team and that team would win right after they left! Here are some of those Unlucky Charms:
Jones played for the Los Angeles Lakers from 1994 to 1999. He joined the Charlotte Hornets the following season (1999-2000) and you already know what happened during the playoffs. The Lakers win with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal getting their first championship rings.
The Lakers would go on to win three in a row so Jones really missed out on this.
The story of Eddie Jones does not end here.
Jones would go on to play for the Miami Heat from 2000 to 2005. He joined the Memphis Grizzlies the following season only to see his former team win the championship with Dwyane Wade gaining superstar status.
Varejao played for the Cleveland Cavaliers for 11 and a half years and then joined the Golden State Warriors that won 73 games during the 2015-16 NBA season. In the 2016 Playoffs, his former Cavaliers team won the title.
The following season, Varejao was waived by the Warriors who would go on to win the title. Varejao was offered a ring by the Warriors for the 2017 season but even he said that it was more of a “souvenir”.
DeRozan played nine years for the Toronto Raptors before joining the San Antonio Spurs. The Raptors would go on to win the 2019 NBA title right after he left.
This playoff run was made more memorable because of Kawhi Leonard‘s “four bounce” game-winning shot against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Turiaf played three seasons for the Lakers and then got an offer from the Warriors for the 2008-09 season which he accepted. The Lakers would go on to beat the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals.
Lakers won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010 so Turiaf really missed out on two chances.
Jackson coached the Warriors for three years and then gets replaced by Steve Kerr who would win the title right away as a rookie coach. Jackson deserves credit for shaping the Warriors squad that Kerr inherited.
Casey coached the Raptors for seven years before moving on to guide the Detroit Pistons. He was replaced even when he got the Coach of the Year award.
Replacing Casey was the right move because the Raptors would win the title under rookie coach Nick Nurse.
Van Gundy resigned after 2 and a half seasons as Miami’s head coach. He was replaced by Pat Riley 21 games into the season and the Heat went on to win the title that year (2006).
Due to injury, Baylor retired after nine games during the 1971-72 season. He missed out on winning because the Lakers earned the title that year. He was offered a ring for that season even if he already retired.
The Lakers offered Baylor something bigger than a ring though. A statue! You’ll see an Elgin Baylor Statue outside Staples Center.
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