The top 5 NBA duos that didn’t win a championship

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were supposed to win multiple rings together in Oklahoma City, building a dynasty that would go down in history. But Durant’s announcement Monday that he’s heading to the Warriors ended all hope that the duo could finally give the Thunder what they’ve been craving — an elusive title.

But Durant and Westbrook are far from the only All-Star tandem that has fallen short of celebrating in champagne. Here are the top five NBA pairs that failed to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

A year after drafting Kevin Garnett straight out of high school, the Minnesota Timberwolves took Stephon Marbury with the fourth pick in the 1996 draft, creating one of the most exciting duos in the league.

Marbury’s flair for the spectacular on the perimeter appeared to mesh well with Garnett’s explosiveness in the paint. But just as the tandem began to flourish, many questioned who was the real leader of the T-Wolves. Neither wanted to play Robin to the other’s Batman, creating an internal friction that eventually led to Marbury being dealt to the Nets in the middle of the 1998-99 season.

Marbury bounced around from that point, being selected to two All-Star teams 13-year career. Garnett eventually was traded from the Wolves to the Celtics and helped Boston end its title drought, winning the title in 2008.

Kemp and Payton were a nightly highlight reel during their time with the SuperSonics. All Payton had to do was throw alley-oop passing in the general vicinity of the rim and Kemp would go get them. The two revitalized basketball in the Pacific Northwest, thrilling fans and racking up wins.

The tandem led the Sonics to the 1996 Finals, where they eventually fell to the Bulls in six games. Kemp bolted for Cleveland during the summer of 1997, signing a seven-year, $107 million contract. Payton was traded during the 2002-03 season to Milwaukee, ending that chapter in Seattle sports history.

The Orlando Magic had the unbelievable fortune of not only getting back-to-back No. 1 picks in the lottery, but also having the chance to select two transcendent players. The Magic took O’Neal in 1992, and he helped them win 20 more games than they did the previous season.

Despite just barely missing the playoffs at the end of the 1992-93 season, the Magic won the lottery again. Orlando chose Chris Webber with the No. 1 pick then shipped him on draft night to the Warriors for Penny Hardaway, who was taken with the third selection that year.

The duo immediately made the Magic one of the most formidable teams in the league, eventually leading Orlando to the 1995 Finals, where the Magic were swept by the Rockets.

O’Neal eventually signed a max contract with the Lakers in the summer of 1996. Hardaway’s career was derailed by knee injuries that robbed him of reaching the status of being one of the all-time greats.

It appeared to be just a matter of time before Durant and Westbrook would be celebrating a title, especially after they reached the 2012 Finals. But injuries, the trading of James Harden and questionable shot selection in the playoffs conspired to keep the Thunder from their ultimate prize.

Many questioned if Durant and Westbrook could co-exist, if their talents would eventually lead to a championship. It appeared they were on their way to a second Finals appearance this year, before squandering a 3-1 series lead to the Warriors in the Western Conference finals.

Now Durant is heading to Golden State and many wonder if the Thunder will trade Westbrook before he becomes a free agent next summer. What once looked like a dynasty in the making has turned into what very well could be a very lengthy rebuilding project.

They perfected the pick-and-roll, leading the Utah Jazz to 18 consecutive playoff appearances. Stockton-to-Malone became the Jazz’s go-to play and it led to back-to-back Finals appearances. Only problem was the duo played in the same era as Michael Jordan, who had some of his most memorable moments against Utah (Flu Game, Bryon Russell final shot)

Stockton played his entire 19-year career with the Jazz, becoming the NBA’s all-time leader in assists and steals. Malone played all but one of his 19 years with the Jazz, finishing second on the all-time scoring list to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

But despite their individual greatness, the pairing never got that elusive title.