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4/22/2008 02:55:00 PM

Five Athletes Due for a Win

LaDainian Tomlinson
LaDanian Tomlinson has rushing titles, but not a Super Bowl title.
Getty Images
By Lang Whitaker, SI.com

Danica Patrick is finally off the hook. Years after zooming onto the Indy Car scene, with a wake of glamour shots trailing behind her, Danica finally won a race this weekend, getting the curse off her back. Still, there are plenty of other high-profile athletes out there who've never won it all. Here are our top five athletes we'd like to see finally win a big one, be it an overall title or just a single tournament...

1. LaDanian Tomlinson: I don’t know what it is about LDT, but he always seems to play hard and come up with at least one big play per game. Now he just needs to put it all together and carry his team to a Superbowl win.

2. Ana Ivanovic: She's inherited the mantle of tennis' hottest starlet, but she's also won a few minor tournaments along the way. She's advanced deep, however, in each of the Grand Slam events. Win one of those, and she'll never be compared to the other Anna again.

3. Alex Rodriguez: Perhaps it's bad luck, or maybe even karma, but despite his incredible stats year after year, A-Rod's never been able to get the biggest wins when they count.

4. LeBron James: He went to the NBA Finals last year, but even King James must realize that when he retires, he'll be judged not by the points on the scoreboard but by the rings on his fingers. And the way he's been playing lately, he looks like this is something he's well aware of.

5. Anna Kournikova: Speaking of the other Anna...OK, so she's retired and not actually on the tour anymore, but Kournikova remains the gold standard in this category. And Anna regularly being in the news again wouldn't be a bad thing for anyone, would it?

Who would you like to see win one? Let us know below...

Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com
posted by SI.com | View comments |


Posted: April 22, 2008 4:48 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
how the hell does lebron qualify to be on this list? he's only been in the nba for 5 seasons... MJ didn't win til his 9th season.

Kobe Bryant should be on this list because his three rings actually belong to shaq.
Posted: April 22, 2008 5:33 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Steve Nash and Jarome Iginla.
Posted: April 22, 2008 7:42 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
The big names I can think of that are missing from your list are -

Dale Jr - his dad had a key to the "Winston Cup" factory where the trophies were made - but he hasn't gotten his "Sprint Cup" title yet.

Ken Griffy Jr - another son who's father celebrated great success with the Big Red Machine - yet little Griffy, dispite being "Bigger" than Senior - has yet to capture a ring.

Ernie Banks - can't MLB give him an honorary championship? Give one to all former Cubs for that matter!

The same could be said about Dan Marino - I'm affraid that he will not be remembered for the GREAT QB that he was because his records are now being broken and he has no "title" to fall back on.
Posted: April 22, 2008 8:42 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
LT will win a superbowl before his carrer ends, and this coming could give him his first ring. GO CHARGERS.
this list should start with kevin garnett, allen iverson and steve nash. for all the three have done and given their sport, they deserve a championship.
Posted: April 23, 2008 12:58 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Where's Allen Iverson (or Kevin Garnett or Tracy McGrady or...)?!?!
Lebron James has been in this league no time compared to A.I., K.G. or even T-Mac, and he has plenty of time still...
Posted: April 23, 2008 2:40 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
how can you not include Allen Iverson on this list? The man plays his heart out every night on the court, and has been trapped on too many weak sixers teams where he's been left to carry the load. Now the year that he's on a good enough team to contend, the west is stacked, and his 50+ wins get an 8th seed. Dang.
Posted: April 23, 2008 10:19 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Tennis: James Blake, Tim Henman
Golf: Sergio Garcia
Football: TO (but being a Giants fan, I would be perfectly happy to keep him on this list until he retires)
Baseball: Roy Halladay
Basketball: The Rutgers womens' team (hey, they start five athletes, right?)
Hockey: Sid the Kid
Posted: April 23, 2008 10:56 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
What about Fred Taylor?
Posted: April 23, 2008 12:05 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Anna Kournikova??... Seriously, you need to make an appointment with reality.
Posted: April 23, 2008 12:51 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Leaving Kevin Garnett off this list just show how shallow your knowledge of the sports world is.
Posted: April 23, 2008 1:01 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
NBA-Allen Iverson has to be included on this list. The guy has won the MVP, lead the league in scoring, and carried a bunch of role players to the finals with the Sixers. Now that he has real talent around him there is no excuses.

NFL-Donovan McNabb. In a weak NFC the guy only made the Super Bowl once and lost. When healthy, he is a top 5 QB in the league. He has a good coach and a good team. He's due to win one sooner or later.

MLB-Barry Bonds. For a guy who did so much to earn all these individual achievements, he's never won a world series ring.

NHL-Joe Thornton. The guy is a beast. He makes everyone around him better. He carries his teams to the playoffs...and then disappears
Mike Piazza
Posted: April 23, 2008 1:52 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Forget about a person. Philadelphia as a whole is due to win a championship
Posted: April 23, 2008 3:29 PM   by Anonymous Brian
Donovan McNabb - 3 NFC Championship Game losses, a Super Bowl Loss, TO fiasco, torn ACL, sports hernia...the time is now for him to do it before its too late
Posted: April 23, 2008 5:12 PM   by Anonymous JFJ
You'll love this one, Lang Whitaker.

The Atlanta Braves. Sure they won in 1995, but only Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, and Chipper Jones remain from that team, and Glavine just came back this year after spending 5 seasons with the New York Mets. Those three Braves can get their second ring and the others can get their first.

BTW, neither Lebron James nor Anna Kournikova should be on this list. They should be replaced by 17 year NBA veteran Dikembe Mutombo (good man, great humanitarian) and 11 year WNBA veteran Vickie Johnson (great player, outstanding person).

Oh and to the first poster, MJ won his first championship in his SEVENTH season (Rookie of the year in 1985, first championship and first Finals MVP in 1991).
Posted: April 23, 2008 5:53 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
donovan mcnabb, steve nash, griffey, iginla.

baseball players seem to get off the hook alot for not winning a ring wile others are hounded.
Posted: April 23, 2008 6:02 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
MJ won 2 rings already in his 9th season.
a philadelphian recently admitted that philadelphia's never going to win another major championship because the sports gods don't want innocent bystanders to die in the ensuing rioting.

agreed, how could lebron be on this list if KG or AI aren't?
Posted: April 24, 2008 9:48 AM   by Anonymous Jamie
What about Randy Moss? Garnett? And I think Ichiro(?) deserves a title as much as anyone, but that isn't going to happen.
Posted: April 24, 2008 10:56 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Did you even watch the playoffs when LT completely tanked it and sat and the bench pouting cause his poor leg hurt? Just for that LT does not deserve a ring EVER!! Gimme Emmitt Smith and his dislocated shoulder anyday. Theres a championship player. I strongly agree with the Iginla comments, love his determination, skill, and force. Shame the Kipper kinda let em down this year, had his worst playoffs ever.
Posted: April 24, 2008 11:42 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I used to root for Tomlinson, but after the AFC Championship game where he pouted on the bench the whole game because he was injured, I'd be fine with him never winning a championship.
Posted: April 24, 2008 12:17 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Kerry Collins...definitely.
Posted: April 24, 2008 12:53 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
are you guys serious!

barry sanders was unbelievable for 10 years and never won a title which was a huge decision as to why he retired how isnt he on this list??
Allen Iverson, Kevin Garnett, and Steve Nash are the most obvious answers, don't know how they were missed by this guy. Plus DONOVAN McNABB deserves one.
Posted: April 24, 2008 2:39 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Joe Thornton? Because he carries his teams to the playoffs...and then disappears"? Pffft. Disappearing in the playoffs = not deserving of a title.
Posted: April 24, 2008 3:20 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
this is the worst list I have ever seen.
Posted: April 24, 2008 9:30 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Yo whas bout Paul Pierce
Posted: April 24, 2008 9:36 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Whos talkin bout LT, he jus a dollar player on a dime team, lets get real here folks
Posted: April 25, 2008 12:57 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
O.K., true lebron doesn't qualify but Shaq wouldn't have those 3 rings either if it wasn' t for Kobe on his team. Even the greatest M.J. couldn't have done it with out Pippen at his side. Remember the word TEAM!
Posted: April 25, 2008 12:43 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Did someone really say Fred Taylor??

It's McNabb and Iverson all the way.
Posted: April 27, 2008 10:45 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Any Love for Barry Bonds?
Posted: April 28, 2008 10:00 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Didin't Iginla got a Gold Medal!
That's gotta count for something.
Posted: May 1, 2008 3:18 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
What about C-Web???
Posted: May 1, 2008 8:51 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Todd Helton. He came close last year, but after playing on some really s****y teams for almost his entire career, he deserves to win the big one.
Jerome Iginla.
John Daly. Maybe a big win would straighten him up. And yes, I realize the Catch-22 of needing to straighten up in order to win.
T.O. - He has done nothing in his entire career that is commendable. Yes he is one of the best WR in the NFL but he acts like 5 year old everytime something goes wrong.
Posted: May 2, 2008 3:41 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
john cena, wwe, booker t, big show, wwe. george w. the whole ut football team, tiger woods post masters meltdown,

w in austin texas
Posted: May 5, 2008 6:05 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
worst list ever
Posted: May 16, 2008 6:33 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
honestly.. what does it take to be allowed to write if this is the type of garbage you can post as legit? There are only 2 people on the list qualifying for it (a rod and LT) plus a list like this should Definetley have at least 10 names on it.. for all the jason taylor's and KG's and T-MAc's, and Iverson's, and junior SEau's, and zach thomas's, and Tim Henman's, and Mike Mussina's and Todd Helton's of the world.. Please.. you are horrible... LeBron? got to be kidding me..
Posted: May 20, 2008 5:18 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Dale Earnhardt Jr Must be on this list -- he's way overdue. He runs at the front every week. He would have had a win 2 Sundays ago if the shrub (the evil #18) hadn't intentionally wrecked him. Of course we can't count the 2 wins he had this season, too bad they were non-points races.
Allen Iverson - This dude has played with injuries, been the MVP, the league's top scorer, and STILL hasn't gotten his ring.

As for Philadelphia as a city getting a championship in ANYTHING, I don't see it happening for a long time. Sucks to be you, Philly. I do admire the loyalty Philly fans have for their team, though. I know that there's somebody somewhere in Philly who is willing to sell one of their children for a championship to come back to their city.
Posted: August 16, 2008 3:44 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Danika Patrick
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