Who's the best professional athlete of all time?

Posted by: deadmojo

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14 Total Votes
1

Michael Jordan

Michael Jeffrey Jordan, also known by his initials, MJ, is an American former professional basketball player, entrepreneur, and principal owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets. He played 15 seasons in the National Basketball Association for th... e Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards. His biography on the NBA website states: "By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time." Jordan was one of the most effectively marketed athletes of his generation and was considered instrumental in popularizing the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s.After a three-season career at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a member of the Tar Heels' national championship team in 1982, Jordan joined the NBA's Chicago Bulls in 1984. He quickly emerged as a league star, entertaining crowds with his prolific scoring. His leaping ability, illustrated by performing slam dunks from the free throw line in slam dunk contests, earned him the nicknames "Air Jordan" and "His Airness". He also gained a reputation for being one of the best defensive players in basketball   more
3 votes
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2

Peyton Manning

Peyton Williams Manning is an American football quarterback for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League. A five-time league MVP, he played for the Indianapolis Colts for 14 seasons between 1998-2011. He is a son of former NFL quarterback ... Archie Manning and an elder brother of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.Manning played college football for the University of Tennessee, leading the Volunteers to the 1997 SEC Championship in his senior season. However, No. 3 Tennessee lost to the No. 2 Nebraska Cornhuskers 42-17 in the Orange Bowl giving Nebraska and Tom Osborne their 3rd national championship in 4 years. He was chosen by the Indianapolis Colts with the first overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. Manning's playing career and statistics have ranked him among the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. From 1998 to 2010, he led the Colts to eight division championships, two AFC championships, and one Super Bowl championship   more
2 votes
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3

Dan Marino

Daniel Constantine "Dan" Marino, Jr. Is a former American football quarterback who played for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League. The last quarterback of the Quarterback Class of 1983 to be taken in the first round, Marino held or cu... rrently holds dozens of NFL records associated with the quarterback position. Despite never being on a Super Bowl-winning team, he is recognized as one of the greatest quarterbacks in American football history. Best remembered for his quick release and powerful arm, Marino led the Dolphins to the playoffs ten times in his seventeen-season career. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.He led the Miami Dolphins to an AFC championship in the 1984 season, only his second season in the NFL. During that year, he threw a then-NFL record 48 touchdown passes. Despite the 14–2 season and Marino's touchdown record, the Dolphins lost Super Bowl XIX 38–16 to the 15–1 San Francisco 49ers   more
2 votes
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4

Wayne Gretzky

Wayne Douglas Gretzky, CC is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and former head coach. He played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League for four teams from 1979 to 1999. Nicknamed "The Great One", he has been called "the greatest hoc... key player ever" by many sportswriters, players, and the NHL itself. He is the leading point-scorer in NHL history, with more assists than any other player has points, and is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season – a feat he accomplished four times. In addition, he tallied over 100 points in 16 professional seasons, 14 of them consecutive. At the time of his retirement in 1999, he held 61 NHL records: 40 regular-season records, 15 playoff records, and six All-Star records. As of 2009, he still holds 60 NHL records.Born and raised in Brantford, Ontario, Gretzky honed his skills at a backyard rink and regularly played minor hockey at a level far above his peers. Despite his unimpressive stature, strength and speed, Gretzky's intelligence and reading of the game were unrivaled   more
1 vote
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5

LeBron James

LeBron Raymone James is an American professional basketball player with the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association. Standing at 6 ft 8 in and weighing 250 lb, he has started at the small forward and power forward positions. James...  has won two NBA championships, four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, two NBA Finals MVP Awards, two Olympic gold medals, an NBA scoring title, and the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He has also been selected to 10 NBA All-Star teams, 10 All-NBA teams, and six All-Defensive teams, and is the Cavaliers' all-time leading scorer.James played high school basketball at St. Vincent–St. Mary High School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, where he was highly promoted in the national media as a future NBA superstar. After graduating, he was selected with the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft by the Cavaliers. James led Cleveland to the franchise's first Finals appearance in 2007, losing to the San Antonio Spurs. In 2010, he left the Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in a highly publicized ESPN special titled "The Decision". In his first season in Miami, the Heat reached the Finals but lost to the Dallas Mavericks   more
1 vote
1 comment
6

Drew Brees

Drew Brees is an American football quarterback for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League. After a prolific college football career at Purdue University, he was chosen by the San Diego Chargers with the first pick in the second round...  of the 2001 NFL Draft. He left college as one of the most-decorated players in Purdue and Big Ten Conference history, establishing two NCAA records, 13 Big Ten Conference records and 19 Purdue University records. He remains the Big Ten record-holder in virtually every passing category, including completions, yards and touchdowns.Brees started his career with the San Diego Chargers, earning the starting job in 2002 and making the Pro Bowl in 2004. After injuring his shoulder at the end of the 2005 season, Brees signed with the New Orleans Saints, where he met immediate success, earning seven trips to the Pro Bowl and leading the Saints to their first Super Bowl. Since joining the Saints in 2006, he has led all NFL quarterbacks in touchdowns, passing yards and 300-yard games. He was the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year in 2004, the Offensive Player of the Year in 2008 and 2011, and the MVP of Super Bowl XLIV   more
1 vote
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7

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bean Bryant is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. He entered the NBA directly from high school, and has played for the Lakers his entire career, winning five NBA champio... nships. Bryant is a 16-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, and 12-time member of the All-Defensive team. As of November 2014, he ranks third and fourth on the league's all-time postseason scoring and all-time regular season scoring lists, respectively. He is the son of former NBA player, Joe Bryant.Bryant enjoyed a successful high school basketball career at Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania, where he was recognized as the top high school basketball player in the country. He declared his eligibility for the NBA Draft upon graduation, and was selected with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets, then traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. As a rookie, Bryant earned himself a reputation as a high-flyer and a fan favorite by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest.In 2003, Bryant was accused of sexual assault after having sex with a hotel employee in Edwards, Colorado   more
1 vote
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8

Magic Johnson

Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Jr. Is a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association for 13 seasons. After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson...  was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA Draft by the Lakers. He won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season, and won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s. Johnson retired abruptly in 1991 after announcing that he had contracted HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award. After protests from his fellow players, he retired again for four years, but returned in 1996, at age 36, to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time.Johnson's career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Star games, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations. He led the league in regular-season assists four times, and is the NBA's all-time leader in average assists per game, at 11.2   more
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9

Roberto Clemente

Roberto Clemente Walker was a Puerto Rican professional baseball player. He was a Major League Baseball right fielder who played 18 seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1955 through 1972. He was a National League, Most Valuable Player once, All-S... tar twelve times, batting champion four times, and Gold Glove winner twelve times. In 1972, Clemente got his 3,000th major league hit in the very last plate appearance of his career during a regular season game.Clemente was involved in charity work in Puerto Rico and Latin American countries during the off seasons, often delivering baseball equipment and food to those in need. He died in an aviation accident on December 31, 1972, while en route to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.Clemente was inducted posthumously to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973, becoming the first Latin American to be enshrined. His death established the precedent that as an alternate to the five year retirement period, a player deceased for at least 6 months is eligible for entry into the Hall of Fame   more
1 vote
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10

Lionel Messi

Lionel Andrés "Leo" Messi Cuccittini, is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club FC Barcelona and captains the Argentina national team.By the age of 21, Messi had received Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the...  Year nominations. The following year, in 2009, he won his first Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards. He followed this up by winning the inaugural FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010, and then again in 2011 and 2012. He also won the 2010–11 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. At the age of 24, Messi became Barcelona's all-time top scorer in all official club competitions. In September 2014 he scored his 400th senior career goal for club and country aged just 27. In November 2014, Messi became the all-time top scorer in La Liga, and the all-time leading goalscorer in the UEFA Champions League.Often ranked as the best player in the world and rated by some in the sport as the greatest of all time, Messi is the first football player in history to win four FIFA/Ballons d'Or, all of which he won consecutively, and the first to win three European Golden Shoe awards   more
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11

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Charles Rodgers is an American football quarterback for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League. Rodgers played college football for the University of California, Berkeley, where he set several career passing records, including l... owest single-season and career interception rates. He was selected in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Packers.After backing up Brett Favre for the first three years of his NFL career, Rodgers became the Green Bay Packers' starting quarterback in 2008 and led them to a victory in Super Bowl XLV after the 2010 NFL season; Rodgers was named Super Bowl MVP. He was named Associated Press Athlete of the Year in 2011, as well as being voted league MVP for the 2011 NFL season. Rodgers has led the NFL twice in passer rating, touchdown-to-interception ratio, touchdown passing percentage, and once each in yards per attempt and lowest passing interception percentage.Rodgers is the NFL's all-time career leader in passer rating during the regular season with a rating of 106.5 and second all-time in the postseason with a rating of 103.1   more
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12

Jackie Robinson

Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson was an American baseball player who became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him at first base on ... April 15, 1947. As the first major league team to play a black man since the 1880s, the Dodgers ended racial segregation that had relegated black players to the Negro leagues for six decades. The example of Robinson's character, his use of nonviolence, and his unquestionable talent challenged the traditional basis of segregation, which then marked many other aspects of American life, and contributed significantly to the Civil Rights Movement.In addition to his cultural impact, Robinson had an exceptional baseball career. Over 10 seasons, Robinson played in six World Series and contributed to the Dodgers' 1955 World Series championship. He was selected for six consecutive All-Star Games, from 1949 to 1954, was the recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947, and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949—the first black player so honored. Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962   more
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13

Pelé

Pele, is almost universally regarded as the greatest player in the history of football. Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in the Minas Gerais region of Brazil, Pele emerged on to the international stage at the 1958 World Cup, at the age of just 17. H... e went on to win three winners medals in football's most important tournament. Pele remains Brazil's record goal scorer and netted more than 1,000 goals in all during his career. Today he is a businessman and global ambassador for what he once called "the beautiful game". He was awarded the title Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee   more
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14

Derek Jeter

Derek Sanderson Jeter is an American former professional baseball shortstop who played 20 seasons in Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees. A five-time World Series champion, Jeter is regarded as a central figure of the Yankees' success of ... the late 1990s and early 2000s for his hitting, baserunning, fielding, and leadership. He is the Yankees' all-time career leader in hits, doubles, games played, stolen bases, times on base, plate appearances and at bats. His accolades include 14 All-Star selections, five Gold Glove Awards, five Silver Slugger Awards, two Hank Aaron Awards, and a Roberto Clemente Award. Jeter became the 28th player to reach 3,000 hits and finished his career sixth all-time in career hits and the all-time MLB leader in hits by a shortstop.The Yankees drafted Jeter out of high school in 1992, and he debuted in the major leagues in 1995. The following year, he became the Yankees' starting shortstop, won the Rookie of the Year Award, and helped the team win the 1996 World Series   more
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15

Tiger Woods

Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods is an American professional golfer who is among the most successful golfers of all time. He has been one of the highest-paid athletes in the world for several years.Woods turned professional in 1996, and by April 1997 he h... ad already won his first major, the 1997 Masters in a record-breaking performance, winning the tournament by 12 strokes and pocketing $486,000. He first reached the number one position in the world rankings in June 1997. Through the 2000s, Woods was the dominant force in golf, spending 264 weeks from August 1999 to September 2004 and 281 weeks from June 2005 to October 2010 as world number one. From December 2009 to early April 2010, Woods took leave from professional golf to focus on his marriage after he admitted infidelity. His many extra-marital indescretions were revealed by several different women, through many worldwide media sources. This was followed by a loss of golf form, and his ranking gradually fell to a low of No. 58 in November 2011. He ended a career-high winless streak of 107 weeks when he captured the Chevron World Challenge in December 2011   more
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16

Tom Brady

Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, Jr., known universally as Tom Brady, is an American football quarterback for the New England Patriots of the National Football League. After playing college football for the University of Michigan, he was drafted by the ... Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft.In Brady's fourteen seasons as a starter, the Patriots have earned five trips to the Super Bowl, winning three. He has also won two Super Bowl MVP awards, two league MVP awards, has been selected to nine Pro Bowls, and has led the Patriots to more division titles than any other quarterback in NFL history, with eleven. He is currently fifth on the all time list for career passing yards and fifth for career touchdown passes. His career postseason record is 18–8; his playoff win total is the highest in NFL history. He helped set the record for the longest consecutive win streak in NFL history with 21 straight wins over two seasons. He also set the record for most consecutive playoff wins with 10, and in 2007 led the Patriots to the first undefeated regular season since the institution of the 16-game schedule   more
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17

Adrian Peterson

Adrian Lewis Peterson is an American football running back for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Vikings seventh overall in the 2007 NFL Draft. He played college football at Oklahoma. Peterson set the NCAA ... freshman rushing record with 1,925 yards as a true freshman during the 2004 season. As a unanimous first-team All-American, he became the first freshman to finish as the runner-up in the Heisman Trophy balloting. Peterson finished his college football career as the Sooners' third all-time leading rusher.Following his first pro season, in which he set an NFL record for most rushing yards in a single game, Peterson was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He was then awarded the MVP award for his performance in the Pro Bowl and became only the fifth player in NFL history to have more than 3,000 yards through his first two seasons. In 2010, he became the fifth fastest player to run for 5,000 yards, doing so in his 51st game.In 2012, Peterson became the sixth fastest player to reach 8,000 rushing yards, ending the season with 2,097 rushing yards, just nine yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson's single season all-time record   more
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18

Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn "Debo" Terrell Lynch, is an American football running back for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League. He is nicknamed "Beast Mode" for his aggressive running style and penchant for breaking tackles. Lynch played college footb... all for the University of California, Berkeley where he became the school's second all-time career rusher. He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft   more
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19

Jerry Rice

Jerry Lee Rice is a former American football wide receiver who played 20 seasons in the National Football League. He is widely considered to be the greatest wide receiver in NFL history and among the greatest NFL players overall. On November 4, 2010... , Rice was chosen by NFL Network's NFL Films production The Top 100: NFL's Greatest Players as the greatest player in NFL history.He is the all-time leader in most major statistical categories for wide receivers, including receptions, touchdown receptions, and yards. Rice was selected to the Pro Bowl 13 times and named All-Pro 12 times in his 20 NFL seasons. He won three Super Bowl rings playing for the San Francisco 49ers and an AFC Championship with the Oakland Raiders. As of 2014 Rice held over 100 NFL records, the most of any player by a wide margin   more
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20

John Elway

John Albert Elway, Jr. Is a former American football quarterback and current General Manager and Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League.Elway played college football at Stanford and his...  entire 16-year professional career with the Denver Broncos. At the time of his retirement in early 1999, Elway recorded the most victories by a starting quarterback and statistically was the second most prolific passer in NFL history. He led his teams to six AFC Championship Games and five Super Bowls, winning his last two.Elway set several career records for passing attempts and completions while at Stanford and also received All-American honors. He was the first selection in the 1983 NFL Draft, famously known as the quarterback class of 1983, where he was taken by the Baltimore Colts before being traded to the Denver Broncos. In January 1987, Elway embarked on one of the most notable performances in sports and in NFL history, helping engineer a 98-yard, game-tying touchdown drive in the AFC Championship Game against the Cleveland Browns. The moment is known in National Football League lore as "The Drive.   more
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21

Brett Favre

Brett Lorenzo Favre is a former American football quarterback who spent the majority of his career with the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League. He was a 20-year veteran of the NFL, having played quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, Gr... een Bay Packers, New York Jets, and Minnesota Vikings. Favre is the only quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 70,000 yards, over 6,000 completions, and over 10,000 pass attempts.Favre started at the quarterback position for the University of Southern Mississippi for four years before being selected in the second round of the 1991 NFL Draft by Atlanta. He was traded to Green Bay on February 10, 1992, for the 19th pick in the 1992 NFL Draft.Favre became the Packers' starting quarterback in the fourth game of the 1992 season, stepping in for injured quarterback Don Majkowski, and started every game through the 2007 season. He was traded to the New York Jets and started at quarterback for the 2008 season before signing with the Vikings on August 18, 2009 as their starting quarterback. He made an NFL record 297 consecutive starts   more
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22

Steve Young

Steven Russell Young is a former National Football League offensive tackle who played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins from 1976 to 1977. He attended Chaffey High School and then the University of Colorado before being drafted by the ... Buccaneers in the third round, 61st overall, in the 1976 NFL Draft   more
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23

Barry Sanders

Barry Sanders is a former American football running back who spent his entire professional career with the Detroit Lions of the National Football League. A member of both the college and professional football halls of fame, he was ranked by NFL Top ... 10 as the most elusive runner in NFL history, and also topped their list of greatest players never to reach the Super Bowl. Averaging over 1,500 rushing yards per season, Sanders left the game just 1,457 yards short of being first place on the list for the NFL all-time rushing record at that time   more
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24

Alexander Ovechkin

Alexander Mikhailovich Ovechkin is a Russian professional ice hockey winger and captain of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League. Prior to playing in the NHL, Ovechkin played for HC Dynamo Moscow of the Russian Superleague for four s... easons from 2001 until 2005, and he played for Dynamo again during the 2012–13 NHL lockout. Ovechkin was the first overall selection in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, drafted from Dynamo after 3 seasons with the club. Since the 2004–05 NHL season was lost because of a lockout, Ovechkin remained with Dynamo for one more season before transferring to the NHL for the 2005–06 NHL season, in which he won the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year, scoring 52 goals and 54 assists to lead all rookies with 106 points.During the 2007–08 season, he led the NHL with 65 goals and 112 points to capture the Rocket Richard and Art Ross Trophies. That season he also won the Lester B. Pearson Award as the top player voted by the NHL Players' Association and the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's MVP. He is the only player to win all four awards since the Rocket Richard Trophy's inception in 1999   more
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25

Sidney Crosby

Sidney Patrick Crosby, ONS is a Canadian professional ice hockey player who serves as captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League. Crosby was drafted first overall by the Penguins out of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Du... ring his two-year major junior career with the Rimouski Océanic, he earned back-to-back CHL Player of the Year awards and led his club to the 2005 Memorial Cup final. Nicknamed "The Next One", he was one of the most highly regarded draft picks in hockey history, leading many to refer to the 2005 Draft Lottery as the "Sidney Crosby Sweepstakes".In his first NHL season, Crosby finished sixth in league scoring with 102 points and was a runner-up for the Calder Memorial Trophy. By his second season, he led the NHL with 120 points to capture the Art Ross Trophy, becoming the youngest player and the only teenager to win a scoring title in any major North American sports league. That same season, Crosby won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the Professional Hockey Writers Association's choice for most valuable player and the Lester B   more
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26

Gary Payton

Gary Dwayne Payton is an American former professional basketball point guard. He is best known for his 13-year tenure with the Seattle SuperSonics, and holds Seattle franchise records in points, assists, and steals. He has also played with the Milwa... ukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, the last with whom he won an NBA championship. He was nicknamed "The Glove" for his excellent defensive ability.The only point guard ever to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, Payton is widely considered one of the best of all time at that position. He was selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team nine times, an NBA record he shares with Michael Jordan, Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant. He was also a nine-time NBA All-Star and a nine-time All-NBA Team member. He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on September 8, 2013. Payton got his nickname "The Glove" when Payton's cousin called him during the 1993 Western Conference Finals series against Phoenix and told him, "you're holding Kevin Johnson like a baseball in a glove," and the nickname was born   more
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27

Larry Bird

Larry Joe Bird is an American retired professional basketball player who played for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association. Since retiring as a player, he has been a mainstay in the Indiana Pacers organization, currently serving a... s team president. Drafted into the NBA sixth overall by the Boston Celtics in 1978, Bird started at small forward and power forward for thirteen seasons, spearheading one of the NBA's most formidable frontcourts that included center Robert Parish and forward Kevin McHale. Bird was a 12-time NBA All-Star and was named the league's Most Valuable Player three consecutive times. He played his entire professional career for Boston, winning three NBA championships and two NBA Finals MVP awards.Due to chronic back problems, he retired as a player in 1992. He was a member of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team that won the gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics. Bird was voted to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996 and inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998   more
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28

Bobby Orr

Robert Gordon "Bobby" Orr, OC is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player. Orr played in the National Hockey League for ten seasons with the Boston Bruins, joining the Chicago Black Hawks for two more. Orr is widely acknowledged to be one of...  the greatest hockey players of all time. As a defenceman, Orr used his ice skating speed and scoring and play-making abilities to revolutionize the position. As of 2013, Orr remains the only defenceman to have won the league scoring title with two Art Ross Trophies and holds the record for most points and assists in a single season by a defenceman. Orr won a record eight consecutive Norris Trophies as the NHL's best defenceman and three consecutive Hart Trophies as the league's most valuable player. Orr was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979 at age 31. He was the youngest to be inducted into the Hall at that time. After his hockey career Bobby Orr became a well known scout for many professional teams. He also spends most of his time talking to and mentoring young exuberant skaters.Orr started in organized hockey at age five. He first played as a forward, but was later moved to defence by his coach, Royce Tennant   more
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29

Babe Ruth

George Herman "Babe" Ruth, Jr. Was an American baseball outfielder and pitcher who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball from 1914 to 1935. Nicknamed "The Bambino" and "The Sultan of Swat", he began his career as a stellar left-handed pitcher f... or the Boston Red Sox, but achieved his greatest fame as a slugging outfielder for the New York Yankees. Ruth established many MLB batting records, including career home runs, slugging percentage, runs batted in, bases on balls, and on-base plus slugging, some of which have been broken. He was one of the first five inductees into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936.At age seven, Ruth was sent to St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys, a reformatory where he learned life lessons and baseball skills from Brother Matthias Boutlier, of the Christian Brothers, the school's disciplinarian and a capable baseball player. In 1914, Ruth was signed to play minor-league baseball for the Baltimore Orioles. Soon sold to the Red Sox, by 1916 he had built a reputation as an outstanding pitcher who sometimes hit long home runs, a feat unusual for any player in the pre-1920 dead-ball era   more
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30

Pete Rose

Peter Edward "Pete" Rose, also known for his nickname "Charlie Hustle", is a former Major League Baseball player and manager. Rose played from 1963 to 1986, and managed from 1984 to 1989.Rose, a switch hitter, is the all-time Major League leader in ... hits, games played, at-bats, singles, and outs. He won three World Series rings, three batting titles, one Most Valuable Player Award, two Gold Gloves, the Rookie of the Year Award, and also made 17 All-Star appearances at an unequaled five different positions.In August 1989, three years after he retired as an active player, Rose agreed to permanent ineligibility from baseball amidst accusations that he gambled on baseball games while playing for and managing the Reds, including claims that he bet on his own team. In 1991, the Baseball Hall of Fame formally voted to ban those on the "permanently ineligible" list from induction, after previously excluding such players by informal agreement among voters. In 2004, after years of public denial, Rose admitted to betting on baseball and on, but not against, the Reds. The issue of Rose's possible reinstatement and election to the Hall of Fame remains a contentious one throughout baseball   more
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31

Diego Maradonna

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32

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, GOIH, known as Cristiano Ronaldo, is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Real Madrid and captains the Portugal national team.By the age of 22, Ronaldo had received Ballon ... d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations. The following year, in 2008, he won his first Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards. He followed this up by winning the FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2013. He also won the 2013–14 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. In January 2014, Ronaldo scored his 400th senior career goal for club and country aged 28.Ronaldo is regarded by some in the sport to be currently the best player in the world and one of the greatest of all time. He is the first Portuguese footballer to win two FIFA/Ballons d'Or, and the second player to win three European Golden Shoe awards. With Manchester United and Real Madrid, Ronaldo has won three Premier Leagues, one La Liga, one FA Cup, two Football League Cups, two Copas del Rey, one FA Community Shield, one Supercopas de España, two UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA Super Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup   more
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33

Emmitt Smith

Emmitt James Smith, III is an American former college and professional football player who was a running back in the National Football League for fifteen seasons during the 1990s and 2000s. Smith played college football for the University of Florida... , where he was a unanimous All-American. A first-round pick in the 1990 NFL Draft, he played professionally for the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals of the NFL, and is widely considered to be one of the greatest running backs in NFL history.During his long professional career, he became the NFL's all-time rushing leader, breaking the record formerly held by Walter Payton, and played for three Super Bowl-winning Dallas Cowboys teams. Smith is the only running back to ever win a Super Bowl championship, the NFL Most Valuable Player award, the NFL rushing crown, and the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award all in the same season. He is also one of only four running backs to lead the NFL in rushing three or more consecutive seasons, joining Steve Van Buren, Jim Brown and Earl Campbell. Smith led the league in rushing and won the Super Bowl in the same year three times when to that point it had never been done   more
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34

Michael Irvin

Michael Jerome Irvin is a former American football player for the Dallas Cowboys, and an actor. He is also a former broadcaster for ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown and currently an analyst for NFL Network. Irvin was self-nicknamed "The Playmaker" due to...  his penchant for making big plays in big games during his college and pro career. He played college football at the University of Miami. In 2007, he was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.Irvin is also known as one of "The Triplets" along with Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith. The Triplets highlighted the Dallas Cowboys' offense in the 1990s that won three Super Bowls.He competed in season 9 of Dancing with the Stars. Irvin was the 9th contestant to be eliminated   more
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35

Mariano Rivera

Mariano Rivera is a Panamanian former professional baseball pitcher who played 19 seasons in Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees, from 1995 to 2013. Nicknamed "Mo" and "Sandman", Rivera spent most of his career as a relief pitcher and ser... ved as the Yankees' closer for 17 seasons. A thirteen-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion, he is MLB's career leader in saves and games finished. Rivera won five American League Rolaids Relief Man Awards and three Delivery Man of the Year Awards, and he finished in the top three in voting for the AL Cy Young Award four times.Rivera was signed by the Yankees organization in Panama in 1990, and he debuted in the major leagues in 1995. Initially a starting pitcher, he was converted to a relief pitcher late in his rookie year. After a breakthrough season in 1996 as a setup man, he became the Yankees' closer in 1997. In the following seasons, he established himself as one of baseball's top relievers, leading the major leagues in saves in 1999, 2001, and 2004   more
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36

Terry Bradshaw

Terry Paxton Bradshaw is a former American football quarterback who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the National Football League. Since 1994, he has been a TV analyst and co-host of Fox NFL Sunday. He played for 14 seasons with Pittsburgh, won...  four Super Bowl titles in a six-year period, becoming the first quarterback to win three and four Super Bowls, and led the Steelers to eight AFC Central championships. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989, his first year of eligibility.A tough competitor, Bradshaw had a powerful – albeit at times erratic – arm and called his own plays throughout his football career. His physical skills and on-the-field leadership played a major role in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ history. During his career, he passed for more than 300 yards in a game only seven times, but three of those performances came in the postseason, and two of those in Super Bowls. In four career Super Bowl appearances, he passed for 932 yards and 9 touchdowns, both Super Bowl records at the time of his retirement. In 19 post-season games, he completed 261 passes for 3,833 yards   more
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37

Joe Montana

Joseph Clifford "Joe" Montana, Jr., nicknamed Joe Cool and The Comeback Kid, is a retired professional American football player, a hall of fame quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs. After winning a college national champio... nship at Notre Dame, Montana started his NFL career in 1979 with San Francisco, where he played for the next 14 seasons. Traded before the 1993 season, he spent his final two years in the league with the Kansas City Chiefs. While a member of the 49ers, Montana started and won four Super Bowls and three Super Bowl Most Valuable Player awards. Montana was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in 2000, his first year of eligibility. Montana is the only player to have been named Super Bowl MVP three times.In 1989, and again in 1990, the Associated Press named Montana the NFL Most Valuable Player, and Sports Illustrated magazine named Montana the 1990 "Sportsman of the Year". Four years earlier, in 1986, Montana won the AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. Montana was elected to eight Pro Bowls, as well as being voted 1st team All-Pro by the AP in 1987, 1989, and 1990   more
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38

Roger Staubach

Roger Thomas Staubach is a former star National Football League quarterback who is executive chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle.He attended the U.S. Naval Academy where he won a Heisman Trophy, and after graduation he served in the U.S. Navy, including ... a tour of duty in Vietnam.Staubach joined the Dallas Cowboys in 1969. He played with the club during five seasons in which they played in the Super Bowl, four as the primary starting quarterback. He led the Cowboys to victories in Super Bowl VI and Super Bowl XII. Staubach was named Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl VI, becoming the first of four players to win both the Heisman Trophy and Super Bowl MVP, along with Jim Plunkett, Marcus Allen and Desmond Howard. He was named to the Pro Bowl six times during his 11-year NFL career   more
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39

Mario Lemieux

Sir Mario Lemieux, OC, CQ is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player. He played parts of 17 seasons with the National Hockey League's Pittsburgh Penguins between 1984 and 2006. In 1999, he bought the Penguins and their top minor-league affi... liate, the American Hockey League's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, out of bankruptcy, and is currently the team's principal owner and chairman. He is widely acknowledged to be one of the best players of all time. A gifted playmaker and fast skater despite his large size, Lemieux often beat defencemen with fakes and dekes.Lemieux led Pittsburgh to two consecutive Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992. Under his ownership, the Penguins won a third Cup in 2009. He is the only person to have his name on the Cup as both a player and an owner. He also led Team Canada to an Olympic gold medal in 2002, a championship at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, and a Canada Cup in 1987. He won the Lester B   more
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Wylted says2015-06-28T07:46:21.4786232-05:00
I like Bo Jackson
Texas14 says2015-06-28T09:57:54.2396404-05:00
Walter Payton
tajshar2k says2015-06-28T10:01:12.3870146-05:00
Take Barry Bonds of the list. He doesn't deserve to be there.
rphk123 says2015-06-28T10:52:57.2679227-05:00
Wow, he actually did take Bonds off. I was going to vote for him. We looking at the greatest athlete of all time, not the most liked athlete of all time.
MakeSensePeopleDont says2015-06-28T11:06:01.0203733-05:00
@rphk123 Lebron James? Really? SERIOUSLY? I hope you're like 12 years old. He wouldn't EVER even be in the same zip code of this conversation. @Everyone (the group, not the username) This question cannot be answered as different sports, different eras, different cultures, different EVERYTHING makes this impossible to answer. I mean let's just talk boxing: Who really thinks that Ali in his prime would beat Tyson in his prime? Nobody who understands even the basics of physics. You can float like a butterfly, sting like a bee all you want ; but when Tyson walks you into a corner and starts with those rib shots that lift you a foot off the mat, that bee would get SMASHED by the wrecking ball....Is wrecking ball even a good simile? More like a tank hitting you full speed head on.
deadmojo says2015-06-30T21:55:09.3152745-05:00
@tajshar2k I never added barry bonds, I put in barry sanders, bonds is a baseball player, sanders is a football player.

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