Commentary

One-on-One: Ring of fire

As the playoffs heat up, which NBA star most needs to emerge with a ring?

Updated: April 22, 2010, 2:55 PM ET
By Chris Broussard and Ric Bucher | ESPN The Magazine
LeBron James and Vince CarterGetty ImagesJames has time Carter doesn't. But should they both be playing with similar urgency?

The only thing Ric Bucher and Chris Broussard like to do more than report on the NBA is argue about the NBA. So we decided to combine those two skills in our weekly One-on-One series, in which they'll debate the hottest topics in the Association.

QUESTION: Which player needs a championship ring most?

CHRIS BROUSSARD: While everyone's talking about how much LeBron James needs to win a title this year, there are several players who need a ring more than he does. He's young; he'll have plenty more opportunities. But Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd -- just to name a few -- don't have much time left. Of everyone in these playoffs, though, no one needs to win the championship this season more than Vince Carter does.

RIC BUCHER: Of all the older players out there, I'd agree that Vince needs a ring the most, with Ron Artest right behind him, since they are on teams that reached the Finals without them and then proclaimed themselves better after acquiring them. But don't kid yourself: LeBron needs this ring more than any of the guys you listed. Sure, this probably isn't his last shot at one, but the table couldn't be better set than right now.

Ric Bucher

NBA Reporter, ESPN The Magazine Senior Writer