- 02/01/2012, 03:52AM ET
Marlins Fan said 02/01, 03:52 AM
Pick any 3 athletes you wish were still playing. Pick one per argument and explain why you picked them. Could be someone you loved watching as a kid, or someone you never got the chance to see; whatever. The only rule is remember we were talking about these players as if they could still play at the level of their prime, so theoretically you could even pick an active player. This isn't a true debate, I guess; I just want to talk some sports and I have no friends, so... once again here we are on FN, lol.
Anyway, my first selection is Michael Jordan.
Now I'm not the biggest basketball fan in the world, by any means, but Jordan is widely viewed as the epitome of basketball, and every year we hear the talking heads comparing players to Jordan.
This doesn't happen so much in the other major American sports, probably because each of the positions in MLB/NFL are so different it's tough to say any one player was indisputably the greatest.
But it happens frequently in basketball. Everyone uses MJ as the measuring stick by which all the current great players are gauged. And that's precisely why I wish MJ were still playing today.
To see how today's greats measure up.
J-Business said 02/01, 04:34 AM
I'm going to go with Muhammed Ali
Ali in his prime was arguably the greatest athlete of all time. Similar to Jordan he was a champion in his field and was well respected by his colleagues.
However, his biggest achievements weren't necessarily in sports but his speaking out for social causes.
Can you imagine Ali after winning a big fight talking about the loss of jobs in America and the decline of the middle class?
Whereas most professional athletes today are simply known for their follies, who they're dating or what new sneaker they are wearing, Ali was equally known for his position on major issues.
It has has to be mentioned that although Jordan was very popular, he couldn't touch Muhammed Ali's international presence.
In today's era of the internet and mass communication, Ali's fights would take on a whole other dimension.
His fights would literally be an international event.
He beat Foreman in Zaire and it was international news.
Imagine what would happen if he fought one of the Klitschko brothers
Ali today would be far and away the most popular icon in the world
Marlins Fan said 02/01, 11:41 PM
My second selection is Barry Sanders.
Barry was the most-fun-to-watch athlete I have ever seen, from any sport. As far as I'm concerned, Barry was the one guy you just had to watch regardless.
I'm a Cowboys fan, and growing up I always watched the Cowboys and Lions on Thanksgiving. And no matter how much I loved watching the Boys, especially in their glory days, it was always an extra speical treat watching Barry dance behind the line of scrimmage and break peoples' ankles on his way to a 50 yard TD run.
Barry wasn't consistent, and sometimes would start a game with 10-15 carries for about 10-15 yards but you knew that sooner or later he was going to bust a completely jaw-dropping run.
I would love to see Barry today just because I miss the excitement he brought to the game.
For me, watching Barry was like having Devin Hester, Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson and Demarcus Ware all rolled into one. It was the ultimate in football viewing, and oh how I wish he were still playing at an elite level so I could turn to my wife after a great play and say, wow how redonk was that?!
Barry brought out the childlike fan-boy quality in me, and I wish it could happen again.
J-Business said 02/02, 04:06 PM
For my second pick, I'm going with Bruce Lee in MMA/UFC
Outside of being a great martial artist on film, Bruce Lee honed his skills on the streets of Hong Kong and the West Coast
Thus he not only could do it for show, he was literally the real deal
Now let's set the stage
A great martial arts film star, making million dollar block buster movies, and then then steps in the Octagon to take on a competitor!
Can you imagine the reviews?
It would literally be off the charts
This isn't your every day kung fu guy who does it all for show and would probably get served by someone who does it in the ring
This is a man whose martial arts skills were as they say "battle tested"
The mainstream fans who still have doubts about MMA will without a doubt tune in to see Bruce Lee
Keep in mind, that Bruce Lee had mastered numerous fighting techniques and was fully able to use them in real fights
In fact, Bruce Lee became famous because of his street fights.
He was like Kimbo Slice, except that he was actually trained and had beaten numerous reputable fighters
You put Bruce Lee on UFC and my grandmother would watch it
Marlins Fan said 02/03, 12:36 AM
Alright, I've given you one NBA player and one NFL player, meaning I've saved the best for last. That's right, here comes the MLB guy...
Without any further ado, for my final selection I'm going with the Say Hey Kid.
Willie ****-ing Mays.
I thought about the Babe, but honestly I would rather watch Willie Mays in action that Babe Ruth. Some might call that sacriledge, I call it the wise choice, the only choice.
Babe Ruth could knock the stitching off the ball but Willie Mays could do it all.
He could hit for power, hit for average, run like the wind on the basepaths and he fielded his position perhaps better than any other.
According to Ted Williams, Willie Mays is the reason MLB invented the All-Star game.
While I realize that Ted was making a point, Willie is still the one athlete that I would watch if I could watch anybody from any era.
660 career HRs, two seasons of 50 homers in an era when it wasn't common, a .302 career BA, 338 stolen bases, 12 Gold Gloves even though the GG award wasn't invented until Mays was already in his sixth year.
Willie Mays was the epitome of baseball.
Heck, Willie was the epitome of an athlete.
J-Business said 02/03, 04:26 PM
My final choice
I'm going to go with one of the greatest athletes ever whom we'll never know just how great he could have been because the rules were changed to prevent him from being dominant
I'm talking about Wilt Chamberlain
Let alone the fact that he averaged 50 pts and 25 rebs in a season, but he altered the history of the game along with becoming the greatest offensive force in league history
In today's NBA, does Wilt go for 100 pts?
People say "he played against smaller player, the league was different, etc, etc" but if Kobe went for 81, I think Wilt could go for 90 or even 100
With the league rules catered for offensive players and Wilt being able to dunk, it would be amazing to see what he could do
Most other NBA players we can envision what they'd be like because their styles have been copied and mimicked but Wilt's game was essentially held back by league rules
I can imagine Wilt being part Hakeem, part Kareem and part Tim Duncan.
He'd be a great player to see during his prime and would be fun to watch against today's stars
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