OT: Mount Rushmore of American pro athletes

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Eric15

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#76
Well, Wilt did incredible things in the NBA stat-wise - better than Jordan or anyone else: a 100-point game, only player to average over 50 points a game in a season, only player to average over 40 points a game in a season, led the league in rebounding 11 times, led the league in field goal percentage 9 times, led the league in assists one season(!), only player to average 30 and 20 rebounds a game in a season (he did it 7 times!), only player to average 30/20 for a career, and so forth. So I'll stick with Wilt as far as dominating in their time.

Now if I was listing the greatest I would've gone with Bill Russell. He won 2 California high school championships, 2 NCAA 'ships (at San Francisco!), and 11 NBA 'ships. He's the greatest basketball player of all-time in my book, what he accomplished on the court in terms of winning and leadership has never been nor will ever be duplicated.
Russell is obviously a legend, but he's 20th in career win shares and 115th in career Player Efficiency Rating. He won 11 titles in the pre-free agency era when the Celtics had a massive share of the league's elite players. In my opinion, he's the most overrated of the NBA's super-legends.
 

Capt. Tuttle

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#77
Russell is obviously a legend, but he's 20th in career win shares and 115th in career Player Efficiency Rating. He won 11 titles in the pre-free agency era when the Celtics had a massive share of the league's elite players. In my opinion, he's the most overrated of the NBA's super-legends.
Russell is such a great player that he led the Russell coached Celtics to win 2 titles.
 

obliterata

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#78
Russell is obviously a legend, but he's 20th in career win shares and 115th in career Player Efficiency Rating. He won 11 titles in the pre-free agency era when the Celtics had a massive share of the league's elite players. In my opinion, he's the most overrated of the NBA's super-legends.
Russell had a better basketball career than anyone winning multiple times at every level. Jordan did nothing at the high school level and nothing in college after Perkins, Worthy, et al left. And Wilt, who was around at the same time as Russell and who had more skills and better stats, never won an NCAA championship and only 2 NBA titles.

A case could be made that Jordan is the greatest NBA player of all-time where he took advantage of the one-on-one rules but I guess I'll still go with Russell.
 

Briancuse

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#79
See I think Aaron Rodgers is incredibly overrated. Makes plays nobody else besides maybe Mahomes can make, but he's also been below average to average from a yards/attempt and completion percentage perspective 3 out of the last 4 years.
He's incredibly talented but the guy has played in one super bowl.
 

Townie72

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#80
Solid. Hard to argue that any are really “wrong.” Others might give nods to different choices, but you could strongly defend your choices.
I would just comment that had Barry Bonds not messed around with PEDs, he might have replaced Ruth. Especially as a more modern player that most have seen play.
You pretty obviously don’t know anything about Babe Ruth. He was vastly superior to Bonds. You may not be aware of the fact that Ruth was one of the best left handed pitchers in baseball prior to concentrating on hitting.

What was Bond’s ERA?

Read “Babe” by Robert Creamer or Google Ruth’s pitching stats. In 1916 he won 23 games, had an ERA of 1.75 and pitched 23 complete games. In one World Series he went 3-0 and pitched 29 scoreless innings.
 
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#81
You pretty obviously don’t know anything about Babe Ruth.
For me, this is kinda the point of a “Mt. Rushmore”. Looking at the actual, how many people would you say “know” Teddy Roosevelt? Apart from establishing a system of National Parks and Monuments (like Mount Rushmore) he was only 8 years from office when the project started. I have always felt his inclusion (and Jefferson, sorry UVA) to be a bit odd, but because of it, I know those Presidents just a little better than I would. Ruth is a bit more of the Washington or Lincoln type, but in the end, inclusion serves to keep awareness of that individuals accomplishments alive. Era and recognition is not the point.
 

Townie72

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#82
For me, this is kinda the point of a “Mt. Rushmore”. Looking at the actual, how many people would you say “know” Teddy Roosevelt? Apart from establishing a system of National Parks and Monuments (like Mount Rushmore) he was only 8 years from office when the project started. I have always felt his inclusion (and Jefferson, sorry UVA) to be a bit odd, but because of it, I know those Presidents just a little better than I would. Ruth is a bit more of the Washington or Lincoln type, but in the end, inclusion serves to keep awareness of that individuals accomplishments alive. Era and recognition is not the point.
Except that people seem to overvalue more recent accomplishments. Their perspective is skewed and that’s why TR is on there, I submit.

I gave the Creamer book on Ruth to a retired doctor friend of mine, who was a big STL Cards fan, and I suspect he had his own ideas on greatness. When he gave it back to me he just said, “Unquestionably the greatest ever” and he frequently did it with a hangover. People who don’t agree just don’t know the facts.

I have heard tremendous, overpowering feats described as “Ruthian” meaning “in the manner of Babe Ruth”.
 

Orangepace

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#83
Any sports related Mount Rushmore that does not include Tiger Woods is a joke.
 

Don

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#84
Babe diedrickson
Jessie owens
Edwin Moses
Rocky Marciano
Pete Sampras
Serena Williams

These have yet to be mentioned I think the other Babe should be a lock along
With babe Ruth. Edwin Moses in a young man's Sprint and power event didn't lose for like 11 years.
 

Capt. Tuttle

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#87
Two thoughts.

1, you need someone synonymous with the sport. I don't think that's Brady with football. Oddly enough, I think the guy most synonymous with football is still Lombardi.

2, I'd swap the Great One for Ali, and would think about Jackie Robinson for baseball as opposed to Ruth because of the cultural impact.

I would argue Pat Summit is also deserving of consideration, but not sure who she bumps.
Gretzky = Canadian
 

Capt. Tuttle

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#88
Nope. Ask a 20 year old kid who Brown or Nicklaus are...sorry geezers. Tiger Woods has to be on there. His the biggest sports icon in the world for 2 decades in any sport. Literally no one would not know him.

Jordan, Woods, Gretzky and Brady as much as it pains me
Ask a 20 YO kid who is on Mt. Rushmore
If you want it relevant to snowflakes, they should be most followed Snapchat/Twitter of athletes
 
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Capt. Tuttle

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#93
Even I can drive a car in a circle. I don't consider it a sport.
Secretariat belongs there more than Earnhardt.
Far more to it than that. Those guys are great athletes: strength, endurance, unwavering concentration. Don't sell them short. Jockeys as well.
That said, I have always maintained that there are sports and there are competitions. Auto racing, gymnastics, swimming, to me are competitions. However, all of the participants are athletes.
 

dollarbill44

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#94
Jordan
Ruth
Brady
Earnhardt

I hate NASCAR, but it is still, in more than half of the country, incredibly popular.
If you're going NASCAR, it has to be Richard Petty. I think even Dale would agree, if he were alive. Plus, his shades and hat would look better.
I think Seabiscuit and Evel Knievel have to be on there. #4 should be Bill Wambsganss.
 

dollarbill44

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#95
Russell had a better basketball career than anyone winning multiple times at every level. Jordan did nothing at the high school level and nothing in college after Perkins, Worthy, et al left. And Wilt, who was around at the same time as Russell and who had more skills and better stats, never won an NCAA championship and only 2 NBA titles.

A case could be made that Jordan is the greatest NBA player of all-time where he took advantage of the one-on-one rules but I guess I'll still go with Russell.
Who cares about HS accomplishments, really? And, you really can't use stats or titles when you're comparing across generations because the sports environment has changed so much, i.e. sports nutrition, advanced strength training, more money in sports so that they are truly professional now, etc. It has to be a totally subjective argument where how players stood out against their peers while they played.
 

Eric15

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#96
In order to qualify for a sports Mount Rushmore, in my opinion you have to be able to walk up to the most emo hipster non-sports loving person ever, and ask them "what sport did this person play?" Basically everyone in American society knows that Michael Jordan played basketball and Babe Ruth was a baseball player.
 

bcubs9497

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#97
In order to qualify for a sports Mount Rushmore, in my opinion you have to be able to walk up to the most emo hipster non-sports loving person ever, and ask them "what sport did this person play?" Basically everyone in American society knows that Michael Jordan played basketball and Babe Ruth was a baseball player.
Does Jesse Owens make the list? Sugar Ray Leonard definitely should, in my opinion.
 

CanadianSU

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#99
I Hope those who put Gretzky know that he’s Canadian and are doing this for like North America :confused:
 
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There are only two surefire faces on this Rushmore:

Jim Thorpe - outstanding pro football and baseball player but also Olympic gold medals in the 1912 pentathlon AND decathlon. That needs repeating: the pentathlon! and the decathlon! - the only guy to outflank Jim Brown in both depth and breadth. My money says that JT would have been a hell of a lacrosse player (actually, he did play lacrosse).

Ruth - the guy's candy bar is still selling after 80 yrs! - Barry Bonds...eat me!

It gets a lot tougher after those two. But I'll go with the following:

Phelps - most awarded Olympian ever, all-time great dominance over many events and many years. He will look good up there for a long, long time.

Zaharias - the Babe (Didrikson) - the greatest female athlete of all time. Standout basketball player, Olympic gold medalist track athlete and champion golfer. She would look good up there.

Others:

Jordan - huge enduring icon, big time winner, and one of the best on both sides of the ball. Low level baseball player. Another downside is just how much better is he than Lebron???? Tough to leave one out but there is no way you can put both in - and what would Alcindor say?

I like the great one, Gretzky, but he is CANADIAN! Is this North American Rushmore?

Nicklaus/Woods - I'd give the slight nod to Woods but its also only golf; I know Eldridge was in good shape but fat Jack won a bunch.

Race car drivers - oh please! What is next, chess players? And I'm a chess player.

Brady - great QB presence (thee most important attribute), but most of his wildly successful career was based on his arm - its hard to make Rushmore with only one part of your body.

Bo Jackson - could have been.

Jordan, Ruth, Ali, Brady.
 
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