- 06/01/2011, 10:03AM ET
Mitch Cumstien said 06/01, 10:03 AM
"Who is the greatest athlete of all time without a ring in any Big 4 sport?"
In most cases Greatness is measured by the amount of bling on your ring, but today we will address the Greatest athlete to never achieve that exclamation point on their career.
There were many names that flashed through my mind, and two that I fought to decide between.
My choice is likely the first to pop into your head while reading this (as it was in mine). Often compaired with the greatest QBs of all time even though he never hoisted the Lombardi
Marino set 22 records and tied four others during his 17 year career in the NFL.
61361 passing yards (2nd all time)
420 passing touchdowns (2nd all time)
4967 passes completed (2nd all time)
9 time Pro Bowler
3 time NFL All-Pro
1984 NFL MVP
His sophomore year in the NFL Marino won the NFL MVP award and led the Dolphins to his only Super Bowl appearance, where Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49er's beat the Dolphins 38-16.
Only twice in Marino's career was he lower than 3rd in the league in passing yards and he was in the top ten for touchdown passes every year in his career.
Good luck Ogre
Ogre: Batman said 06/01, 06:45 PM
My selection is John Stockton.
John Stockton had a dominant career. His highlights:
3,265 steals (1st all time)- 700 ahead of 2nd
18,806 assists (1st all time) - 4300 ahead of 2nd
19,711 points (19th all time)
10 time All-Star
5 time All-Defensive second team
John Stockton is the best point guard of all time, and not just offensively or defensively, but both. He dished out the assists that vaulted Malone to being one of the best scorers in the NBA, and shut down the opponents on the other team. He is one of the greatest guards in NBA history, and the fact that he didn't win a championship is a travesty.
Like Marino, Stockton was also a model of consistency. He was never outside of the top 10 in APG, and has 7 career seasons where his assist total is in the top 10 for all time assists for a season. That's right, Stockton had 7 of the 10 best seasons distributing the ball in NBA history.
Consider the following: There is a solid and reasonable debate about who the best QB of all time is. There's no debate about who the best PG of all time is. Marino might be the popular choice, but Stockton is the greatest to never win a championship.
Mitch Cumstien said 06/02, 06:20 PM
Nice Choice in the Stockton pick, although I must admit it caught me by surprise a little. I assumed to be facing Teddy Ballgame.
As it's very difficult to argue stats cross sports I will argue this instead. Who has more rings? J/K
There are a few things to consider here. First, (although I'll not let this lead the debate) Stockton as the greatest PG ever is Very debatable. Second, name another player on Marino's team who could be considered in this argument... I'll give you a few minutes... I can name one on Stockton's team, and I'll bet you can to.
While Stockton is considered among the Best PGs of all time, there are some who would argue that he was not even the best all around player on his own team at the time. Stockton - Malone was without a doubt the best 2 player combo never to win a ring. But this is about single players.
Marino still holds 2 of the top 10 passing yard seasons (not replicated by any other QB), 2 of the top 5 TDs per season (also not repeated by any other QB). They both hold records at their respective position and sport, but in my opinion 1 star player on a 22 man team, or 1 of 2 players on a 5 man team?
I'll give it to Marino!
Ogre: Batman said 06/02, 09:14 PM
[i]Note: I meant to say Stockton was the best pure/traditional PG of all time.[/b]
Don't act like Marino was alone out there Sweetness. For a while he had one Mark Clayton to throw to, a very dangerous and talented WR. And the Malone debate is overrated as to Stockton's greatness. Stockton ran one of the most efficient offenses in NBA history. It thrived on the pick and roll, a system famous for creating open looks. Malone benefited from the fact that Stockton could create shots for his teammates.
A facet of Stockton's game you're completely ignoring is his defense. Stockton shut down opponents, and could pick your pocket before you knew what happened. And don't overlook his scoring capabilities either; Stockton is 19th on the all time points list, with 13.1 PPG (to go with 10.5 APG) on .515 FG%. Stockton excelled in three areas of a game that many struggle to find a niche in two.
2 of the top 10 and 2 of the top 5? That's impressive I guess, unless you want to look at Stockton having 7 of the top 10 (4 of the top 5) assist totals and 2 of the top 10 steals totals.
Stockton was a great player, the greatest without a ring in any sport.
Mitch Cumstien said 06/03, 09:31 AM
You are very correct Marino was not alone out there. As you pointed out he had Mark Clayton one of the top receivers ever.
By top receiver I mean 67th on the career receptions list tied with Ronnie Harmon and Ladanian Tomlinson...
How about his other STAR receiver Mark Duper? 105th, 1 behind Herschel Walker and Earnest Byner.
Perhaps it was the super talented backfield of Miami During the Marino Era? This backfield that we speak of featured 10 different Running backs with the longest tenure being 3 years by Mark Higgs, and Karim Abdul-Jabbar (and not the good one)
How about we not compare that support to what Stockton had in Malone!
2nd on the all time points list ahead of Jordan. During the span of Stockton's reign of supremacy, (assist wise) 87-96, Malone averaged 28ppg good for what would be 3rd all time.
Sure Malone benefited from Stockton, but it cannot be denied that Stockton would not have been the great PG he was without such a prolific scorer on his team.
Bottom Line, Dan Marino was The Greatest player(singular) never to win a ring!
Great TD Ogre and good luck.
Ogre: Batman said 06/03, 12:22 PM
Don't write off Duper and Clayton so fast. Both were talented WRs, and there's no doubt Clayton would be higher up on that list had he stayed in Miami. And why would Miami need to get an elite RB when their entire game plan was to throw the ball? Marino was the 1st, 2nd and 3rd option in Miami. His stats are what they are because Miami decided early on that he would do it all for them.
You can argue about Malone all you want, but I find it odd that you spent very little of your third argument defending Marino.
Stockton and Marino are both among the greats for their positions. But the sheer array of talent Stockton displayed is what makes him the superior choice. Stockton distributed the ball in a way that no other NBA player has been able to duplicate, played defense no other guard has replicated and scored incredibly well for someone who is known for passing up his own chances to allow others to score.
I've already laid the stats out there. Stockton is 1st in assists and steals, and top 20 in points. That's 3 entirely different aspects of an NBA game. Rather than excel in one, Stockton excelled in them all.
He's the greatest without a ring.
- Awful Announcing
- Free Darko
- Pro Football Talk
- The Big Lead
- Joe Posnanski
- The Sporting Blog
- Big League Stew
- Bugs and Cranks
- Every day Should Be Saturday
- Mr. Irrelevant
- With Leather
- The Sports Hernia