Karl Malone in a Lakers jersey. Gary Payton in a Heat jersey. Charles Barkley in a Rockets jersey. Patrick Ewing in a Sonics jersey. These aren't pleasant memories for most basketball fans (in most cases, especially fans of those teams). Could Dirk Nowitkzi soon join such a list of lost souls in search of a championship?

Nowitzki isn't exactly near the end of the line at 31 years old -- and let's face it, we all know German imports run forever. But after yet another playoff collapse by the Mavericks, Nowitzki wasn't ready to dismiss the idea he might pass on $21 million otherwise owed to him next season and join the summer's free-agent sweepstakes.

That's a lot of money to leave on the table, even with teams likely falling over themselves to sign stars this offseason, but being one of the greatest players never to win a title is also a label a lot of players will do just about anything to avoid. As it stands now, where does Nowitzki -- and teammate Jason Kidd, for that matter -- stand on the list of the best players in league history without at least one championship ring? Rank 'Em.


i am not even a Miami Heat Fan but Dirk and D Wade would be a killer combination in the east.

-- iamjovon

I love Dirk. He's the only player many nights on this team worth a damn. I don't want to see him go, but I wouldn't blame him if he did. It's obvious that this thing doesn't work. Kidd can't guard anybody. Jet is unreliable. Damp has always been a stiff. Marion was a huge disappointment. The team is way over the cap, won't be able to sign one of the big names, and do the Mavs have a draft pick this year? Either way, without Dirk this thing goes into the toilet and fast, and there's not much of anything they can do to improve.

-- owhi

When your best player only asset is his jumper he will never win a championship, the only player that have done it was Larry Bird and he did it with defense and high basketball IQ too , Dirk really lack these qualities.

-- baro41.53

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