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wicket 05-16-2009 07:04 PM

Biggest sports stars of all time.
I know im gonna regret this because Im gonna get a lot of solely american sport focused answers but what are your biggest sports stars of all time.
my top 5:
1 Don Bradman, cricket, Australia
2 Pele, football, Brazil
3 Cassius Clay/Mohammed Ali, boxing, USA
4 Eddy Merckx, cycling, Belgium
5 Wayne Gretzky(sp?), Icehockey, Canada

Don Vito 05-16-2009 07:07 PM

Michael Jordan for sure if you want to throw a basketball player on there. He could be the biggest American sports icon, Babe Ruth is a possibility too.

yourfavestoner 05-16-2009 07:10 PM

Kobe Bean Bryant.

Strongside 05-16-2009 07:20 PM

Tiger Woods

wicket 05-16-2009 07:45 PM

even with basketball i would go futher back with chamberlain


Cal Ripken

Matthew Jones 05-16-2009 07:53 PM

Pele, Wayne Gretzky, and Wilt Chamberlain might be three of mine.

holt_bruce81 05-16-2009 07:57 PM

Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan for sure.

Roger Federer - Tennis
Tiger Woods - Golf
Bobby Orr- Hockey

BeerBaron 05-16-2009 08:00 PM

Ruth and Jordan for sure.....no offense Wicket, and it's probably because I'm from America, but i haven't even heard of 2 of yours.....

wicket 05-16-2009 08:03 PM

Since I think that the majority here isnt familiar with my choices 1 and 4 I'll give a bit of an extra illustration for them:
Don Bradman. averaged 99.94 with the bat. No other average over 65 has been recorded for players playing a similar amount of games, and this is in the second largest sport worldwide with the longest history of international contests.

Wisden hailed Bradman as, "the greatest phenomenon in the history of cricket, indeed in the history of all ball games". Statistician Charles Davis analysed the statistics for several prominent sportsmen by comparing the number of standard deviations that they stand above the mean for their sport. The top performers in his selected sports are:

Athlete Sport Statistic Standard
Bradman Cricket Batting average 4.4
Pelé Association football Goals per game 3.7
Ty Cobb Baseball Batting average 3.6
Jack Nicklaus Golf Major titles 3.5
Michael Jordan Basketball Points per game 3.4

The statistics show that "no other athlete dominates an international sport to the extent that Bradman does cricket". In order to post a similarly dominant career statistic as Bradman, a baseball batter would need a career batting average of .392, while a basketball player would need to score an average of 43.0 points per game. The respective records are .366 and 30.1

When Bradman died, Time magazine allocated a space in its "Milestones" column for an obituary:

... Australian icon considered by many to be the pre-eminent sportsman of all time ... One of Australia's most beloved heroes, he was revered abroad as well. When Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years in prison, his first question to an Australian visitor was, "Is Sir Donald Bradman still alive?"
Just a quote to illustrate how special he was

Eddy Merckx: won the tour the france (that thing that armstrong won a bunch of times) 5 times but also won every other major competion a few times (armstrong never won any one day courses, nor did he win the giro or the vuelta which basicly are about as important as the tour the france). the diversity of his wins has not only never been equaled, it has never even been flirted with.

A Perfect Score 05-16-2009 08:26 PM

Guys Id throw in, and when I do this, I put them in in the sense that they are synonymous with their sport:

1. Muhammed Ali (you would be hard pressed to find many people who can name any other boxers)
2. Tiger Woods
3. Michael Jordan
4. Babe Ruth
5. Wayne Gretzky

Those would be the big 5 IMO, people so famous that when someone mentions the sport, their names pop into your head.

SuperKevin 05-16-2009 08:30 PM

Jesse Owens

YAYareaRB 05-16-2009 08:40 PM

1. Michael Jordan SG, Bulls
2. Joe Montana QB, 49ers
3. Magic Johnson All Around, Lakers
4. Tiger Woods
5. Jonah Lomu, NZ All Blacks

KCJ58 05-16-2009 08:42 PM


Originally Posted by yourfavestoner (Post 1664758)
Kobe Bean Bryant.


the decider13 05-16-2009 08:53 PM

Baseball: Joltin Joe Dimmagio
Football: Walter Payton
Fussball: Pele
Basketball: Air Jordan
Hockey: Wayne Gretzky

Gay Ork Wang 05-16-2009 08:55 PM

Jan Ove Waldner

Xiomera 05-16-2009 09:08 PM

The correct answer is Yao Ming.

CJSchneider 05-16-2009 09:20 PM

jballa838 05-16-2009 09:31 PM

Deion. Primetime. he was the man.

kwilk103 05-16-2009 09:51 PM

7-11 05-16-2009 09:58 PM

Don Bradman, and it isn't close in my opinion. Do some research on the guy and find out why

jayceheathman 05-16-2009 10:11 PM

Caddy 05-16-2009 10:14 PM


A lot don't know about Bradman obviously, but considering cricket is an international sport he definitely deserves to be up there. As far as I know he has a batting average that is at least 40 runs above his closest competitor.

That is absolute domination.

iowatreat54 05-16-2009 10:44 PM

Jordan revolutionized sports marketing. Not only is he arguably the best sports figure of all time, but what he did for advertising and marketing is unheard of for a spokesperson. He changed the way that companies used sports figures as spokespersons.

On top of that, he is prolly the best American sport player. I would think the only person that can challenge him right now is Tiger. But in the big 4 besides MJ and Tiger, there really isn't anyone close.

MichaelJordanEberle (sabf) 05-16-2009 10:57 PM

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