After watching Game 1 of the NBA Finals, it seems hard to imagine a world where the Miami Heat won't be NBA champions by June 14, if not sooner. This also means Jason Kidd will probably end up joining John Stockton as one of the best point guards in history never to win a ring, since there's going to be a lengthy lockout before the Heat go ahead and win a few more titles (barring injury to LeWyane). It's not a catastrophe -- Kidd's made about $200 million in salary and endorsements over his career, he's a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame, and along with Jim Jackson and Toni Braxton, started the wave of NBA love triangles that have been so expertly carried on by Tony Parker and countless others to this very day. He's had a great career.
But unless a miracle happens in the next week and a half or so, Kidd's going to enter this list, so let's just include him anyway. Which list, headline ignorer? The top 10 Bay Area athletes to never win a title! What does "Bay Area athlete" mean? If you went to school around here at all, you're in, and if you played as a professional here for the majority of your peak seasons, you're in. It may not seem like you'd want to be on this list, but in the grand scheme of things whose career would you rather have, Jason Kidd's or Adam Morrison's?
Top 10 Bay Area Athletes Who Never Won a Championship
10. Tim Hardaway: His first three seasons marked the best stretch any point guard's ever had with the Golden State Warriors.
9. Jeff Kent: Pretty crazy that Kent might be in the HOF for years before Barry Bonds gets there, but there's definitely a chance that will happen. Still, he was really, really good and gave us the longest-lasting KNBR sound drop that's still funny.
8. Will Clark: After his 1989 NLCS (.650/.689/1.200), you couldn't get any Giants fan to believe he'd end his career without winning a World Series.
7. Chris Mullin: He came pretty close in his second-to-last year with the Pacers, but couldn't cherry-pick a championship like Mitch Richmond (the only part of Run TMC not to make this list) did for the Lakers a couple years later.
6. Gaylord Perry: One of the last 300-game winners, as well as one of the last men in the world to be named "Gaylord."
5. Jason Kidd: Remember when they used to always show his kid sitting courtside? Wonder if he's grown into that giant Bochy-esque dome yet. Nope.
4. Juan Marichal: The biggest difference between his career and Whitey Ford's -- the teams each man played for.
3. Dan Fouts: Fouts played for Marin Catholic High, and is commonly known as the second-best QB to never win a Super Bowl behind Dan Marino. I don't have anything snarky to say about his announcing or the fact that he was a local sports anchor, because I'm not Gary Radnich.
2. Willie McCovey: Just a couple feet higher on that line drive, and he doesn't make this list.
1. Barry Bonds: If he didn't go nuclear in the 2002 postseason, people would still talk about his playoff futility. It's ridiculous to get that crazed about such a small sample size, but Bonds was that good. Everyone expected him to dominate all the time. People may have forgotten, but if he went two games without getting on base it was considered a pretty serious slump.
There you have it. 10 non-champions who all either made a ton of money or were inducted the Hall of Fame, all ringless. God, what a bunch of losers.
Since We're On The Subject Of Not Winning Titles
- New rule: no victory for the San Jose Sharks can be called "possibly the biggest win in franchise history" until the Conference Finals, at the very least.
- It'd be interesting to hear if when they're by themselves, the Sharks blame that exhausting Game 7 against the Red Wings for their 0-2 deficit to start their series against the Vancouver Canucks. Couldn't have helped. Many fans say the refs didn't help much either.
- Tim Kawakami thinks Jerry West is going to trade Monta Ellis.
- The Warriors interviewed a pretty lousy candidate to be their next head coach.
- The Warriors are also interviewed the best candidate to be their next head coach (IMHO, as the kids like to say on that Tweeterer thing).
- Buster Posey got injured pretty badly. Not sure if you heard. Believe it or not, I still haven't seen the replay.
- All the prospect hounds are getting antsy, with the Giants boasting perhaps the worst offense in baseball and the San Jose Giants (their advanced Single-A team) winning 12 in a row, putting their (first half) magic number at 9. Brandon Crawford's already on the big club; it wouldn't be incredibly shocking if after an especially long bad spell, Brian Sabean throws up his hands and brings up Gary Brown, Hector Sanchez and Zach Wheeler in the same day.
- The A's lost 2 games in a row, they're only 2.5 games behind the Rangers in the AL West, and the predominant story regarding the green and gold is how the Yankees bring more fans to O-Face Coliseum than the A's do. This stadium thing has to get figured out. MLB needs to tell Lew Wolff and the Giants what's up, and the A's need to either get a new park in San Jose, a new one in Oakland or bail. Letting it drag on and on isn't helping anyone except fans who really enjoy moving down from their original seats in the sixth inning (something I've been guilty of from time to time).