Discussion in 'Other Sport and Pastimes' started by Wizardman, Jan 24, 2017.
Make it a podium finish. Your top three. GO!!!!
The most obvious one to me is Michael Jordan...
Ali and Bradman were before my time so I won't comment on them.
Can only comment on recent era
Hard to disagree.
It's obviously Paul Gallen
Matthew Wade surely
Phelps can never be included in such lists as his chosen sport is too niche, largely because the cost for a nation to be competitive in that swimming is prohibitive (not too many Olympic quality pools outside of the western world). His record number of gold medals is also boosted immensely by the sheer amount of events held in the pool.
Imagine how many gold Bolt would have if he could also compete in the 100m skip, 100m gallop, and the 100m hop?
bolt might not be that good at skipping, galloping, and hopping
Yet you put Jordan and claim Phelps is in a niche sport....
Bradman remains about twice as good as any other player, over a hundred odd years of records. Phelps is the only one who comes close.
Best basketball player from (outside the USA) in 1940???? No basketballer should be mentioned. Talk about a niche sport.
Usain Bolt I can kind of go with, fastest man ever over short distance, but a, single discipline, could have done long jump, hurdles, but stuck to one event. I rated Daley Thompson higher. Phelps mastered many and was unbeatable when combining all..
No issue with the Fed, prefer Jack Nicklaus, but just because I think golf is harder, you essentially play yourself.
Danish, these places outside of the western world with no Olympic size pools, they have Olympic quality running tracks yeah?
You rate running, but dismiss swimming.
I know you are aware that the earth is about 70% water
Basketball is the 3rd most played team sport on the planet outside of soccer and cricket. Its no niche sport. That is basically the only reason I placed him above Federer.
As for swimming vs track, when the small island nation of Jamaica can absolutely dominate track running, you know the cost of admission is very very low. You won't ever see that in rich nation sports like swimming.
The only equipment you need for track training is a basic weight room along with some reasonably level ground. A football field or park work just fine. Hence why the US can't ever assert their dominance by throwing money at the sport (besides the money they put into developing well masked PEDs, of course).
Granted swimming doesn't have the ridiculous cost to be competitive of sports like cycling, rowing, or sailing, but it is still beyond the reach of many a nation.
Tennis for what its worth suffers from the same cost of entry issue. The only reason I don't let that sway me on Federer is because I think most would agree that Federer and Nadal are the 2 greatest tennis players of all time, so the fact Federer has won so many titles while competing against the 2nd greatest player of all time in his sport makes it all the greater. Would be like if Bradman were able to compete at the same time period as the 70s and 80s Windies attack and still maintain that average.
and all you need to swim is an ocean or lake
Or a river.
I would suggest far more people have tried swimming than have ever played basketball, dominated by the creators the US of A. I would bet Jordan, his wife, his kids, his siblings, his cousins can all swim. Starvin' Marvin has probably not learnt to swim, and probably has never seen a Basketball court..
For Usain to be anywhere near Phelps, he should have done the 100, 200, 400, Long Jump, 110 hurdles and 400m hurdles. But he stuck to flat sprints and short distance, his swimming equivalent would be Pieter van Hoogenband or Alexander Popov. Phelps has no track equivalent.
We will never know how Bradman would have gone against the mighty Windies teams, but blokes in his era have comparable averages to players these days...except of course for the Don.
As I said, no issue with the Fed, I just think golf is harder
Sir Steve Redgrave, 5 gold medals at 5 consecutive summer games.
Why would Bolt need to run the 400m? Phelps didn't swim the 400m freestyle
Athletics doesn't have the luxury of offering 4 individual medals for different running styles over the same distance like they have in the pool. Track is covering a set distance as quickly as possible. If you want to compare Bolt and Phelps, drop all of Phelps' medals in the silly strokes and take freestyle only, given those are the only medals that match up to the same standard as track running.
Without the silly strokes, Phelps has 1 individual gold medal.
If you can show me a single person who has been able to get an olympic qualifying time for any swimming event without using an olympic swimming pool in their training I'll happily accept swimming as an inclusive sport.
It's hard to go past Bradman whose record is the most amazing outlier in the history of sports.
However, if we are going to use accessibility of the sport as a criteria (which I am not necessarily advocating for) then we need to discount cricket as it is only played by commonwealth nations, even then, not all of them. Who is to say the greatest potential cricketer of all time wasn't born in some village in Peru but has never heard of the game?
If we are to use accessibility of the sport then we have to look at something that is relatively accessible/popular the world over with the only 3 viable options in my opinion being soccer, athletics and maybe tennis.
Lionel Messi needs to be in this discussion.
In fact as by far the most global sport, names like Messi, Pele and Maradona should feature prominently.
The debate for best ever is multi faceted. As has been stated, how do you measure Bradman's other wordly dominance vs the very niche nature of cricket, particularly in the 1930s and 1940s?
Contrast that with Lionel Messi and Roger Federer who have dominated like no others in truly global games in the most competitive eras of sporting history.
And what about Sugar Ray Robinson? Widely regarded as the greatest boxer of all time and yet bizarrely always overlooked for Muhammad Ali as boxings representative (not that Ali wasn't a true great too).
The Bolt vs Phelps debate is also another impossible comparison really. The number of Olympic Golds is irrelevant given that there are so many more Gold that swimmers can compete for.
Beyond these guys you have Gretzsky, Nicklaus, and the little appreciated Alexander Karelin whose record in wrestling is Bradman like.
We can also start to add Tom Brady to the debate too, though NFL is basically just like AFL - a sport native to one country.
Separate names with a comma.