Every generation has its share of great athletes and this will hold true until sporting competitions cease to exist. Most athletes in sports today have yet to dominate thier respective areas of play the way Michael Jordan, Jerry Rice and Wayne Gretzky have, but they are leaving their own legacies: great and not so great.
LeBron James is the most explosive athlete the game of basketball has ever seen. The 6-foot-8 forward moves more swiftly at 250 pounds than most lithe point guards can. At his size, he can do things spectators of the sport have never witnessed before; from highlight dunks to amazing no-look behind-the-back passes. The one knock on the Akron, OH., native is that he isn’t a clutch perfomer. After winning the 2012 NBA championship, LeBron now has three gold medals, nine All-Star game apperances, rookie of the year honors, three MVP titles, and an NBA scoring title. Not only has he quelled his would be detractors who believed he couldn’t win the big game, but he already has one of the most storied careers in NBA history.
While Bron Bron is the most proflific athlete in the game, Carmelo Anthony is probably one the best visual scorers the league has ever seen. Melo dazzles with his amazing ability to put the ball in the rim from almost anywhere on the court it. He is the player that the average fan wants to be because his style of play is so attractive. But it is also decieving.
Being a great scorer doesn’t make you a great basketball player, there are many other facets to the game that Melo appears not to really care about. There is no doubt he is talented but fans often consider him one of the top five players in the game when he usually affects the game in one area.
Melo’s defensive ability is pourous and mediocre at best, but not for a lack of ability. Carmelo could be a good defensive player as we have seen from time to time in his contest against LBJ, but he doesn’t put in a concerted effort on a nightly basis. Despite his 6-foot-8 frame, he has never averaged over 1.0 blocks per game and has never averaged over four apg in any of his NBA seasons. Not to mention he has only been out of the first round of the playoffs once.
Although racing is not considered a “true sport” to some, Jimmie Johnson is perhaps the greatest athlete mainstream America doesn’t really recognize. Johnson is one of the few modern athletes to utterly dominate his sport. He has won five consecutive Sprint Cup Championships and was voted the AP male athlete of the year in 2009. The AP award usually go to athletes in major sports because of the thier exposure in the media. The most amazing thing about Johnson is that it appears that his best years may still be ahead of him and he already has a legacy comparable to the greatest of NASCAR drivers.