Best sportsman to ever walk the Earth?

Discussion in 'Other Sport and Pastimes' started by Wizardman, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. AusKnightRKO

    AusKnightRKO First Grade

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    Gretzsky has to be up there, flat out dominated ice hockey.
     
  2. Valheru

    Valheru First Grade

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    Agree with all of that

    We then have to look at where we place someone like Babe Ruth who is basically the Bradman of Baseball. Granted, most of his hitting records have been beaten including his average but he still remains 9th on that list. His slugging and on base slugging percentage still stands to this day. One thing he has over Bradman is that he excelled at the pitching part of the game as well with nearly 100 wins at a 60% strike rate and a very healthy run average.

    Of course, the accessibility and popularity of baseball hinders his nomination as well.
     
  3. Marshall_magic

    Marshall_magic Coach

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    For me #1 is Babe Ruth. The guy changed the game moreso than anyone else. Before he came along, home runs were rare, and there was even a belief that the fans didn't want to see them, yet the Bambino made the home run cool. Since his career ended, there have only been 2 players who have surpassed his home run tally, one has an * next to his name. Aside from his power with the bat, his average was amazing for a power hitter. Plus his pitching records were very good.

    I would round out the top 3 with Bradman & Bolt
     
  4. gUt

    gUt Coach

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    Those of you claiming Federer/Nadal, fair enough. But isn't S. Williams above both of them?

    I mean I know she only had to face women to get the records, but don't forget she IS a woman too so it kind of balances out.
     
  5. gUt

    gUt Coach

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    In the end, all we have is the stats and Bradman is clearly the most freakishly dominant player of his chosen sport than anyone. QED
     
  6. lockyno1

    lockyno1 Immortal

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    Up there but this has been one very weak womens era especially in recent times, I mean come on we have Simona "I literally have no weapons" Halep being a top 5 player! Enough said. It's not Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, etc in competition.

    Compare that to Federer/Nadal...they have had Djokovic, Murray, JMDP (on occasions), etc to contend with. The depth is just stronger.

    Personally Nadal is better though, his record over Federer is quite significant.
     
  7. Tommy Smith

    Tommy Smith Coach

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    I try not to compare male and female sports people. I tend to separate them for the purpose of 'greatest ever' arguments.

    I'm having difficulty trying to explain why; I guess it's just hard to measure.

    Personally I find Federer to be the far more accomplished tennis player. He's basically perfected every aspect of tennis - he's graceful and precise in everything he does from hitting clean winners off both wings, to deft defensive slices, to impeccable volleys off his toes, a great serve, and so on.

    Federer can beat you in many ways because he has all the tools.

    Serena however tends more to overwhelm her opponents with her power and superior physical attributes.

    And yet, she's won more Slams because she's much more of an outlier in the womens game with her power and athleticism giving her an overwhelming advantage over her opponents.

    So is Serena being that much better than her rivals - as opposed to Federer - that much due to her own greatness or because she has less comparative competition?

    I think it's more the latter. She had one truly great rival during her career - Justine Henin - but that's it. And for the record Serena wasn't nearly as dominant during this period.

    How would she have fared in terms of Grand Slam wins if she had to face 3 Henin's over the last 10 years (the equivalent of Djoker, Nadal, Murray)?

    I'm rambling now, largely due to the difficulty in comparing men and women :D

    I will say that Serena is the greatest sportswoman of all time though. Katie Ledecky is probably the other freak of an athelete that is on her level and may surpass her.
     
  8. lockyno1

    lockyno1 Immortal

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    This is a really tough question

    1) Don Bradman- statistically he's twice as good as anyone who has played any sport really, and there have been countless statistics done on this by a range of experts.

    2) Michael Phelps- no one in swimming will accomplish what he has done. He's a freak.

    3) Rod Laver- yes I know what people will say on here "what about Federer". Fact is Federer did a grand total of ZERO 'Grand Slams' (winning all 4 in the same calendar year). Laver achieved this feat twice.

    Unlucky to miss: Wayne Gretzky, Jack Nickolas, Usain Bolt, Rafael Nadal, Pele'
     
  9. Tommy Smith

    Tommy Smith Coach

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    The record is due to Nadal's unrivalled domiance on clay for 10 years.

    He also matches up very well with Federer with the ferocious top spin forehand.

    But the facts remain that Fed now has 18 Slams to Nadal's 14.

    Fed has also won 5 or more at 3 different slams. Contrast that with Nadal where 9 of his 14 have come at the French.

    Nadal is a freak and one of the best sportsman I've ever seen. But you can't any longer make the argument that he's a better tennis player than Federer.

    Every other stat outweighs Nadal's clay court greatness.
     
  10. Tommy Smith

    Tommy Smith Coach

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    Federer would have completed about 10 calendar year Slams of all 4 if he played in the 60s and 70s.

    He'd probably have won about 50 Grand Slams lol
     
  11. umina panther

    umina panther Coach

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    Utter nonsense. As great as Fed is he wasn't beating all-time greats when he racked up most of his slam wins. As soon as Nadal hit his peak he regularly beat Fed and then Joker has done the same. People calling Fed the greatest tennis player ever is very debatable let alone the greatest sportsman.

    Bradman's average would also be 20+ higher on covered pitches.
     
  12. Tommy Smith

    Tommy Smith Coach

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    18 Slams, including one at 35 after a 6 month injury lay off.

    The rest trail in his wake.

    End of argument.
     
  13. lockyno1

    lockyno1 Immortal

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    Absolute rubbish, Federer is a great player but he's not as good as Laver was. People forget just how hard it was to go calendar slams (still is), especially with the increase in travel times. Laver won a bucketload of slams and 2 full calendar slams. He is the greatest player until a player does a calendar slam. Novak could well end on a similar slam total.
     
  14. lockyno1

    lockyno1 Immortal

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    Nadal still has a positive record against Federer on non-clay surfaces. It's just on clay it is diabolical for Federer. Nadal wins 1 more Australian Open, he has 2 slams on every surface. Federer still only has 1 French Open, and he's lucky Nadal was beaten earlier in that tournament!

    Federer took advantage of a very weak era when he came on. I mean the best opponent he had was Marat Safin and he was an absolute head case.
     
  15. Tommy Smith

    Tommy Smith Coach

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    "He's not as good as Laver was..."

    You saw him play did you? You talk about his Grand Slams but the era was so weak that basically only Australians competed in the 1960 and 1962 Australian Opens which he won. And not many foreigners were in the 1969 Aus Open.

    It'd be like Federer winning a Swiss Open with only Swiss players and claiming it as a Grand Slam lololol

    I mean tennis back in the 1960s was a primitive sport.

    Given it was so different all we have to measure are the facts, which show that Federer is well ahead now of anyone in terms of Grand Slam wins.

    When Nadal or Djoker get close to 18 come talk to me then. Of course by then Fed could have 20, who knows...

    Nicklaus is greater than Woods because he has more Majors. And Federer is greater because he has more Slams.

    It's the ultimate marker in an individual sport because we don't have to worry about measuring the variables of team sport.
     
  16. lockyno1

    lockyno1 Immortal

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    Each to their own, I just can't rate someone near the greatest of all time when he hasn't done a calendar slam when someone else has done it twice). In fact I almost had NO tennis players on my list as I had Gretzky in 3rd. Went with Laver eventually.

    Federer had a very weak era too when he was at his absolute best- I mean who was he beating the might of Hewitt and Nalbandian, Gonzalez, Bagdahtais or whatever. Hardly great players lets cut to the chase. The moment Djokovic and Nadal come on he struggles. Won't include Murray as he's come on after Federer's best.

    Lets just agree to disagree, I have Nadal ahead of Federer for a number of reasons, you have Federer ahead, that is fine. Lets just agree to disagree.
     
  17. Tommy Smith

    Tommy Smith Coach

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    All good.

    I will say that Djoker still has a chance to overtake both. He's 6 Slams behind now so has a lot of ground to make up but if he can regain his peak for a few more years he has a shot.

    He also has a winning record over both players so there's that in his favour. In the two years where he won 3 slams he was just unplayable. Totally unbeatable as his return game and defensive play was extraordinary.
     
  18. Manurewa_Marlins

    Manurewa_Marlins Bench

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    1. Tom Brady
    2. Lionel Messi
    3. "Marvelous' Marvin Hagler
     
  19. lockyno1

    lockyno1 Immortal

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    Won't shock me if Novak ends with 19-20 Slams. He isn't that weak on clay which helps, and the next group of players are still 3-4 years away.
     
  20. veggiepatch1959

    veggiepatch1959 First Grade

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    Since everybody is focused on tennis, I'm just going to throw a little curve ball with the smaller racquet sport, squash.

    Try the Australian player Heather Mackay. She won 16 consecutive British Open Women's title in the 60s and 70. In addition, she also won the Australian Amateur Championships for 14 consecutive times from 1960 to 1973.

    When she retired in 1981 at the age of 40, McKay had gone nearly 20 years undefeated (with the only two defeats to her name occurring at the beginning of her career). Since retiring from the top-level game, she has remained active in international Masters level events, and has won two over-45 world championship titles and two over-50 world championship titles.

    Heather also proved to be a talent in other sports, including field hockey, where she was a member of the Australian Women's Hockey Team in 1967 and 1971. In racquetball, she won the American Amateur Racquetball Championship once (1979), the American Professional Racquetball Championship three times (1980–81 and 1984), and the Canadian Racquetball Championship five times (1980 and 1982–85).[2] She was inducted into the USA Racquetball Hall of Fame in 1997.

    Heather might have excelled at squash but also did at the larger racquet sport as well as hockey. Bit of an all rounder I'd say.
     

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