The best

Billy Sims.081976rickey1shaq9

I was thinking about this today: Who are the best players I’ve seen in the three major sports. I thought and thought and thought more about here. Here are my picks—would love to hear yours …

Football:

1. Lawrence Taylor, Giants—Just an athletic freak, and unparalleled for his defensive dominance.

2. Walter Payton, Bears—The most artful-yet-imposing running back I have ever seen.

3. Jerry Rice, 49ers/Raiders/Seahawks—At his best, unstoppable. And never even that fast.

4. Peyton Manning, Colts—I know … I know—Brady, Marino, Elway, Brian Sipe, Richard Todd, etc. But Manning is an absolute machine.

5. Billy Sims, Lions (above, left)—It’s sad he got hurt. Because, at his best, he was insane.

Basketball:

1. Michael Jordan, Bulls/Wizards—Not much debate.

2. Magic Johnson, Lakers—Did everything, and everything well.

3. Larry Bird, Celtics—Did almost everything, and almost everything well.

4. LeBron James, Cavs—Ten years from now, the order of this list probably looks slightly different.

5. Shaq, Magic/Lakers/Heat/Suns/Cavs (above, right)—A monster in his prime.

Baseball:

1. Rickey Henderson, A’s/Yankees/Padres/Mets/Red Sox/Dodgers (above, center)—People forget. They really do. But he took over games, which is rare in this sport.

2. Ken Griffey, Jr., Mariners/Reds—Defense, speed, power, average. A complete ballplayer.

3. Dave Winfield, Padres/Yankees/Angels/Blue Jays/Twins/Indians—Such a magnificent athlete, and a joy to observe during those dark Yankee years.

4. Albert Pujols, Cardinals—Scary.

5. Barry Bonds, Pirates/Giants—The tragedy of his cheating is how damn good he was pre-HEH/steroids.

2 thoughts on “The best”

  1. I was at County Stadium the night Rickey Henderson stole #119 (and immediately stole #120 on the next pitch). Utterly mesmerizing. He made a walk a terrifying prospect for the opposition – and he got a whole lot of them.

    Football – what about Randy Moss? At his best, I’d put him above Rice (and right behind Walter Payton at #1, a man I knew too well as a Packers fan in the late 70s-early 80s). Moss at his best was an utter freak of a football player.

Leave a Reply