Faceoff: Who is the greatest athlete of all time?

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Traesha Pritchard

It doesn’t matter where you are located in the world, basketball grabs everyone’s attention.
From Michael Jordan to Kobe Bryant to Larry Bird, we think greatness.
In this day and age when you ask anyone who’s considered “great”,” in sports off hand LeBron James is thrown out.
As much as any Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers or even Chicago fan doesn’t want to admit James is the best athlete in all sports, he is.
If you are being compared to some of the greatest athletes of all time, you are simply one of the greats.

Recently, James became the youngest player to reach 23,000 points in NBA history at the age of 29 years and 95 days.
Bryant was 30 years old and 171 days when he reached this milestone.
James has two straight NBA championships, two Finals MVP awards, four MVP awards, seven All-NBA first-team selections and five times on the NBA All-Defensive first team.
He makes everything look easy.
James is averaging almost 27 points per games this season while leading his Miami team.
The Heat is a powerful team, and I believe James plays a major role in that.
James never turns off.
When key players like DeWayne Wade suffer an injury, James continues to play hard for his team.
When Ray Allen may need a week or two to rest, James remains to play like a powerhouse.
We can’t shy away from the machine James has turned into.
Before the All-Star break he was already in talks of being this seasons MVP.
Jordan has been quoted saying James is the best player in the league.
James numbers are similar to a game of 2K.
What sets James away from greats like Kobe or Magic is he has so much more time to play.
Coming into the league at such a young age, he secretly had an advantage.
What else makes him the greatest athlete in all sports, is how he’s developed into one of the best team players.
If we take it back to when James was first traded to Miami, the team had a rough patch.
They couldn’t connect.
After the unsuccessful season you saw James took on a whole new perspective and started to utilize the other players on his team, and then came the championships.
No one can stop James.
He’s going to continue to shut down all defensive efforts, and no one’s having success on figuring out a way to get to him.
Lastly, I believe a characteristic for any great person is maturity, and James has matured on a serious level.
It’s evident that with time and age, James has shaped himself into a player that is more concerned with leading his team to victory after victory rather than fattening his bank account.
But hey, with victories come a fat bank account.
As we still wait for James to enter the NBA dunk contest, he will continuously be put on the pedestal to be known as one of the greatest athletes of all time.

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Bre Lehman

When the question “Who is the best athlete ever?” is posed, it is quite hard to come to just one conclusive answer.
Each sport has a list of greats, and every sport is not equal.
The world’s best basketball player is probably not very good at hockey, and the world’s best baseball player probably couldn’t compete with the best football player.
Picking the best athlete is subjective to a person’s own sports taste.
With that being said, my opinion of the greatest athlete is Wayne Gretzky.
Gretzky, nicknamed “The Great One,” was so dominant in the National Hockey League that the guy holds the records for most records.
Those 61 records consist of 40 regular season, 15 playoff, and six All-star records.
He holds the top honor for most career regular season goals, assists, and points. Gretzky’s career point total of 2,857 is close to 1,000 points more than the second best record held by Mark Messier (1,887).
In fact, Gretzky has more career assists, 1,963, than any player has in total points.
Gretzky was a key part in six Stanley Cup Finals appearances; five times with the Edmonton Oilers and once with the Los Angeles Kings.
In total, he won four Cups, all with the Oilers.
With all his post-season play, it is no surprise that Gretzky holds a majority of the playoff records.
His explosive play led him to 122 career playoff goals and 260 career playoff assists.
Gretzky’s career started out in the now disbanded World Hockey Association because the NHL at that time did not allow players under 20.
When the WHA folded a year later, the Edmonton Oilers joined the NHL.
Many critics suggested that Gretzky’s success would not carry over into the more talented league, but that first season in 1979-1980 he became the youngest player to score 50 goals.
He also was awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy as the League’s MVP.
The MVP award in his first season became the first of eight straight league MVP titles.
Gretzky’s second season in the NHL saw a start to another streak.
At the end of the 1980-1981 season Gretzky won his first Art Ross trophy.
This trophy is given to the player with the most regular season points.
His 164 points that season broke the previous records for most assists and most points in an NHL season.
Gretzky went on to win seven consecutive Art Ross trophies.
One of Gretzky’s most impressive feats was when he broke the 50 goals in 50 games record that had stood for 35 years. In the 81-82 season Gretzky managed to score 50 goals in just 39 games.
Nicknamed “The Great One” for a reason, Gretzky is the only NHL player to have his number 99 retired league-wide.
His accomplishments are immense.
He took the league by storm and crushed his competition.
He is the only player to score over 200 points in a season, and he did it four times.
Wayne Gretzky is most definitely one of the greatest athletes of all time.

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