For me, Fed has surpassed Jordan, Brady and Gretzky

BorgTheGOAT

Professional
Jordan definitely benefited from a weak era. Not saying he wouldnt still be NBA goat but it did help
Good joke. I can see a lot of NBA experts here in this forum. Jordan playing in a weak era???? Barkley, Malone, Drexler, Ewing, Stockton, Olajuwon, Payton, Shaq, Isiah, Bird, Magic the list goes on. The 90's might not have been quite as strong as the 80's but there were plenty of HOFs, LOL at people claiming LeBron is the GOAT, if there is any weka era than it is today with basically only two teams with a decent chance to win the championship. Big LOL at people talking about LeBron had to face Goating Nowitzki!!! Or viewing Shaq and Kobe as the pinnacle of Basketball greatness where Jordan was lucky not to face them. Prime Barkley and Malone were considerably better than any version of Nowitzki and Jordan's Bulls would easily destroy the 00's Lakers.
And by the way I am on of the biggest Hakeem fans, one of the greatest of all time in my opinion, surpassed only by Wilt as a center. A 2,18 guy who is Top 20 in Steals!!! He was a bad matchup for Jordan and Hakeem's Rockets are actually 13-10 against Jordan's Bulls but it is not that they prevented the Bulls from anything in the Playoffs and that Jordan took advantage of Hakeem's decline or something. In reality, Hakeem never reached a NBA final with Jordan around and only won during MJ's first retirement. Once Jordan was back the Rockets were done, so hardly Jordan's fault that this matchup never happened in a NBA final.
 

BorgTheGOAT

Professional
It's true that the Barcelona team that Messi played for had more quality players than did the Argentina team he played for.

Which is why he was able to achieve more with the former.

Maradona OTOH single-handedly dragged a mediocre Argentina team to the World Cup in 1986, and single-handedly dragged a mediocre Napoli team to Serie A titles in the early 80s/late 90s.

Messi isn't even the greatest club player of all time - that's Di Stefano.

I see however that Messi has many apologists on this forum though, so I'm probably fighting a pointless battle with my posts on this topic. :rolleyes:
Messi might be the most successful club player ever, but than we have to take into account, that the gap between the clubs is far bigger than ever today with much more money involved. Today all the best players in the world are concentrated in just a handful of teams. If playing in one of those teams, a player will automatically win a lot of titles. Of course Barcelona and Madrid were always favourites in La Liga, but never as far ahead as they are now. The teams Messi played with were way more stacked with great players than any other team we are talking here. During the times of Pele's Santos all great players used to play in their home countries so there is hardly any comparison. The same holds true to Maradona's Napoli which was actually a very mediore team without Maradona. Imagine Prime Ronaldo fenomeno at Barcelona with the likes of Iniesta and Xavi behind him, he would most likely break every existing scoring record. On the other hand, all these greats (Pele, Maradona, Ronaldo) have excelled on International stage as well, something Messi never did, even though that by individual players, the Argentinian squad is by far the best in the world. There is actually no good excuse for him. Messi definitely has to win the World Cup, before he can ever be in any GOAT discussion.
 

Bluefan75

Professional
Good joke. I can see a lot of NBA experts here in this forum. Jordan playing in a weak era???? Barkley, Malone, Drexler, Ewing, Stockton, Olajuwon, Payton, Shaq, Isiah, Bird, Magic the list goes on. The 90's might not have been quite as strong as the 80's but there were plenty of HOFs, LOL at people claiming LeBron is the GOAT, if there is any weka era than it is today with basically only two teams with a decent chance to win the championship. Big LOL at people talking about LeBron had to face Goating Nowitzki!!! Or viewing Shaq and Kobe as the pinnacle of Basketball greatness where Jordan was lucky not to face them. Prime Barkley and Malone were considerably better than any version of Nowitzki and Jordan's Bulls would easily destroy the 00's Lakers.
And by the way I am on of the biggest Hakeem fans, one of the greatest of all time in my opinion, surpassed only by Wilt as a center. A 2,18 guy who is Top 20 in Steals!!! He was a bad matchup for Jordan and Hakeem's Rockets are actually 13-10 against Jordan's Bulls but it is not that they prevented the Bulls from anything in the Playoffs and that Jordan took advantage of Hakeem's decline or something. In reality, Hakeem never reached a NBA final with Jordan around and only won during MJ's first retirement. Once Jordan was back the Rockets were done, so hardly Jordan's fault that this matchup never happened in a NBA final.
A guy named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wants to have a word with you about Olajuwon.
 

citybert

Hall of Fame
Good joke. I can see a lot of NBA experts here in this forum. Jordan playing in a weak era???? Barkley, Malone, Drexler, Ewing, Stockton, Olajuwon, Payton, Shaq, Isiah, Bird, Magic the list goes on. The 90's might not have been quite as strong as the 80's but there were plenty of HOFs, LOL at people claiming LeBron is the GOAT, if there is any weka era than it is today with basically only two teams with a decent chance to win the championship. Big LOL at people talking about LeBron had to face Goating Nowitzki!!! Or viewing Shaq and Kobe as the pinnacle of Basketball greatness where Jordan was lucky not to face them. Prime Barkley and Malone were considerably better than any version of Nowitzki and Jordan's Bulls would easily destroy the 00's Lakers.
And by the way I am on of the biggest Hakeem fans, one of the greatest of all time in my opinion, surpassed only by Wilt as a center. A 2,18 guy who is Top 20 in Steals!!! He was a bad matchup for Jordan and Hakeem's Rockets are actually 13-10 against Jordan's Bulls but it is not that they prevented the Bulls from anything in the Playoffs and that Jordan took advantage of Hakeem's decline or something. In reality, Hakeem never reached a NBA final with Jordan around and only won during MJ's first retirement. Once Jordan was back the Rockets were done, so hardly Jordan's fault that this matchup never happened in a NBA final.
I’ll give you the dream, drexler and the glove but as for the rest
barkley never showed up in shape
Malone couldnt score without the whistle and when he faced the jazz they were old. Yes jordan was too but dont forget he took almost 2 yrs off and saved mileage on his body
Isiah had a terrible injury that ended his career short
magic and bird were both in their 30s with a ton of playoff wear and tear when Jordan won his first ring
Shaq and kobe while not the pinnacle were lethal when paired together.
And when jordan was back Hakeem was 33 so not sure he had much left.

Jordan is goat and maybe goat of all sports the way he ushered in the sports into the mainstream world in north america. And I will admit jordans advanced stats even compared with todays players and rules are still on the top but to not recognize that he benefitted from a weaker (not bad)competition is unfair to the other guys.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Federer is no doubt one of the greatest athletes out there and he certainly fits the model athlete criteria on and off the court compared to all the other athletes mentioned, but I still can't put him as the GOAT athlete. Although he's probably the biggest face in the sport's history, he still didn't exactly carry or impact his sport to the extent that others have. In terms of carrying their sport, he had a great "supporting cast" of Nadal, Nole and Murray, compared to Tiger who carried golf from the late 90's onwards and brought golf into mainstream, or the way Gretzky carried hockey in the 80's, or MJ who globalized basketball in the 90's, or Phelps who carried swimming over the past 10-15 years, or Ali who brought boxing to prominence in the 60's and 70's, etc. Also, Fed's losing record against Nadal and even Nole, hurts him quite a bit in this case. I know some of these guys are playing team sports, but sport's in general, beating your rivals is always the key to one's success and dominance. Also, he isn't THAT much ahead of Nadal and Nole historically and even when he's at his best there's no guarantee that Fed's going to get the better of them, hell he'd come in as potenitlaly the underdog in some cases as well. Other GOAT athletes were wayyyyy ahead of their field both at their peaks and historically which showed how superior they were to everyone else who played the sport. Again, Roger is one of the greatest athletes ever (the greatest in his sport by all means) and is a model sportsmen, but he isn't the greatest athlete ever imo.
 

BlueClayGOAT

Semi-Pro
2 things:

1) It's weird to see Americans pushing Gretzky and Brady here- guys who, as great as they were/are, played sports that matter only in the US and Canada- and then say cricket doesn't matter. Cricket is huge in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and extremely popular in Australia, England, South Africa. The West Indies and New Zealand also play cricket at a high level. Bangladesh is a country with 163 million people and almost all of them are crazy about cricket.

Nobody outside North America knows who Brady and Gretzky are. They wouldn't be recognized if they shook hands with you.

Sir Donald George Bradman is the GOAT cricketer and a serious contender for GOAT sportsman. Cricket is obviously much less popular than football (actual football, not gridiron) and tennis, but Bradman averaged 99.94 runs in Test match cricket over a 20 year career. That's FREAKING INSANE. Batsmen who average 50 in Test cricket are called undisputed greats of the game. You're considered world-class if you average 40+. Even Bradman's greatest contemporaries averaged about 55-60.

NINETY NINE POINT NINE FOUR. Take a minute to think about that. It is like Michael Jordan averaging 45 points a game for all his career. It's like Federer winning 35 singles majors. It's utterly alien, never has been replicated, and never will be. It's considered downright untouchable in cricket. When a great batsman emerges every few years in cricket, and if he goes on to be an all-time great, the only debate is if he's good enough to be considered the SECOND greatest of all time. Bradman is so far beyond anybody else that it's absurd.


2) Messi is the football GOAT. It's ridiculous that people think Ronaldo is anywhere in Messi's league as a complete footballer. Ronaldo is an all-time great himself, but the difference between Messi and him is vast in terms of technical ability and completeness. Messi is on another planet. His relentless excellence and weekly displays of otherworldly football have spoiled us a bit. Messi has been, for close to a decade, what Maradona was in the 1986 World Cup. Don't let old-time romanticism fool you. Messi has far surpassed Maradona's achievements, World Cup or no World Cup. The WC is a tournament that occurs every 4 years, and players don't even play with their national squads that often. Club football in Europe is played at a much higher level. The team that happens to be on a hot streak and slightly luckier than the others has a good chance of winning the WC. Messi dragged a fairly mediocre Argentina team to the final in 2014 single-handedly. He has been absurdly great for Barcelona for a decade, in one of the world's best leagues. He has won the Champions League and the La Liga with Barca about 462 times.

Pele was awesome, but he never played club football in Europe- the highest standard of football played anywhere in the world. Maradona was awesome too, and he dragged a poor Napoli team to the Serie A title, but his longevity was nowhere close to Messi's. Ronaldo has excelled with Man Utd. and Real Madrid, but he is not in Messi's league in terms of technical ability and versatility. It's absurd that Messi gets knocked by fans even now. Make no mistake. The guy is a once-in-a-lifetime player.
 

tenisdecente

Hall of Fame
2 things:

1) It's weird to see Americans pushing Gretzky and Brady here- guys who, as great as they were/are, played sports that matter only in the US and Canada- and then say cricket doesn't matter. Cricket is huge in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and extremely popular in Australia, England, South Africa. The West Indies and New Zealand also play cricket at a high level. Bangladesh is a country with 163 million people and almost all of them are crazy about cricket.

Nobody outside North America knows who Brady and Gretzky are. They wouldn't be recognized if they shook hands with you.

Sir Donald George Bradman is the GOAT cricketer and a serious contender for GOAT sportsman. Cricket is obviously much less popular than football (actual football, not gridiron) and tennis, but Bradman averaged 99.94 runs in Test match cricket over a 20 year career. That's FREAKING INSANE. Batsmen who average 50 in Test cricket are called undisputed greats of the game. You're considered world-class if you average 40+. Even Bradman's greatest contemporaries averaged about 55-60.

NINETY NINE POINT NINE FOUR. Take a minute to think about that. It is like Michael Jordan averaging 45 points a game for all his career. It's like Federer winning 35 singles majors. It's utterly alien, never has been replicated, and never will be. It's considered downright untouchable in cricket. When a great batsman emerges every few years in cricket, and if he goes on to be an all-time great, the only debate is if he's good enough to be considered the SECOND greatest of all time. Bradman is so far beyond anybody else that it's absurd.


2) Messi is the football GOAT. It's ridiculous that people think Ronaldo is anywhere in Messi's league as a complete footballer. Ronaldo is an all-time great himself, but the difference between Messi and him is vast in terms of technical ability and completeness. Messi is on another planet. His relentless excellence and weekly displays of otherworldly football have spoiled us a bit. Messi has been, for close to a decade, what Maradona was in the 1986 World Cup. Don't let old-time romanticism fool you. Messi has far surpassed Maradona's achievements, World Cup or no World Cup. The WC is a tournament that occurs every 4 years, and players don't even play with their national squads that often. Club football in Europe is played at a much higher level. The team that happens to be on a hot streak and slightly luckier than the others has a good chance of winning the WC. Messi dragged a fairly mediocre Argentina team to the final in 2014 single-handedly. He has been absurdly great for Barcelona for a decade, in one of the world's best leagues. He has won the Champions League and the La Liga with Barca about 462 times.

Pele was awesome, but he never played club football in Europe- the highest standard of football played anywhere in the world. Maradona was awesome too, and he dragged a poor Napoli team to the Serie A title, but his longevity was nowhere close to Messi's. Ronaldo has excelled with Man Utd. and Real Madrid, but he is not in Messi's league in terms of technical ability and versatility. It's absurd that Messi gets knocked by fans even now. Make no mistake. The guy is a once-in-a-lifetime player.
This post was good until the double standards used to compare Messi with Maradona and Pele. And please cut the bs with Messi taking alone that Argentina team to 2014 WC finals. Not in the same universe to what Maradona did in 1986, and the quality of both teams is not even comparable. I can continue to talk about Pele but the whole argument of european football as the elite when Brazil had won 3 of 4 world cups and the braziluan talent stayed in home needs no further discussion
 
2) Messi is the football GOAT. It's ridiculous that people think Ronaldo is anywhere in Messi's league as a complete footballer. Ronaldo is an all-time great himself, but the difference between Messi and him is vast in terms of technical ability and completeness. Messi is on another planet. His relentless excellence and weekly displays of otherworldly football have spoiled us a bit. Messi has been, for close to a decade, what Maradona was in the 1986 World Cup. Don't let old-time romanticism fool you. Messi has far surpassed Maradona's achievements, World Cup or no World Cup. The WC is a tournament that occurs every 4 years, and players don't even play with their national squads that often. Club football in Europe is played at a much higher level. The team that happens to be on a hot streak and slightly luckier than the others has a good chance of winning the WC. Messi dragged a fairly mediocre Argentina team to the final in 2014 single-handedly. He has been absurdly great for Barcelona for a decade, in one of the world's best leagues. He has won the Champions League and the La Liga with Barca about 462 times.

Pele was awesome, but he never played club football in Europe- the highest standard of football played anywhere in the world. Maradona was awesome too, and he dragged a poor Napoli team to the Serie A title, but his longevity was nowhere close to Messi's. Ronaldo has excelled with Man Utd. and Real Madrid, but he is not in Messi's league in terms of technical ability and versatility. It's absurd that Messi gets knocked by fans even now. Make no mistake. The guy is a once-in-a-lifetime player.
I'm guessing you're at most 20 years old, or Messi's agent.

Which is it?

:cool:
 

BlueClayGOAT

Semi-Pro
This post was good until the double standards used to compare Messi with Maradona and Pele. And please cut the bs with Messi taking alone that Argentina team to 2014 WC finals. Not in the same universe to what Maradona did in 1986, and the quality of both teams is not even comparable. I can continue to talk about Pele but the whole argument of european football as the elite when Brazil had won 3 of 4 world cups and the braziluan talent stayed in home needs no further discussion

Messi is Maradona every day. He has played at the level of Maradona in 1986 for the past five years.
-Jorge Valdano, 2013.
 

tenisdecente

Hall of Fame
Messi is Maradona every day. He has played at the level of Maradona in 1986 for the past five years.
-Jorge Valdano, 2013.
You can quote me anyone you want about Messi. The cold truth at the end of the day is that he is a club player who does not step up with his national team.
Compare Messi's Barcelona with Maradona's Napoli and it is a difference so big in level that it is not even funny. Not only that: the competition in Serie A at the end of the 80s (arguably the best league of the world in that moment, not like today). Milan had a decent team in 1987 and in 1990 were a GOAT team with a monster defense plus the 3 dutch guys, Inter with the germans, Juventus with Platini, and dont count out teams like Sampdoria that were full of talent. Compare that competition which was Barcelona and Madrid have had in the last 10 years in spanish league and it is laughable.

I dont like theorical scenarios, but Maradona with teams like those Messi has had in Barcelona, would have had at least the same success as Messi. The guy was not only good but also was a big game player
 

BlueClayGOAT

Semi-Pro
'Big game player' is a laughable fiction which exists only in fans' minds. The Serie A in the late 1980s had some great teams and hard defending, yes. But to say that the La Liga is not high-quality is just EPL fanboyism.

Messi has also got his national team to a WC final and 2 Copa finals. He has won the Golden Ball in a WC. It's ridiculous that him being better than Maradona or not depends on whether Ginzalo Higuain missed a simple 1-on-1 chance or not. This is no way to judge a player.
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
...or MJ who globalized basketball in the 90's, or Phelps who carried swimming over the past 10-15 years
Jordan did not carry basketball. It was massive already and continued to be.

Phelps "carried" swimming from being the 150th most popular sport to being the 147th most popular sport. :p Swimming is a non-event in terms of sporting achievement compared to tennis, golf, basketball and many other multi-skilled sports which aren't almost entirely about pure repetition. And any sport which gives out gold medals like Tic-Tacs as swimming does needs to be viewed a bit differently.

...Also, Fed's losing record against Nadal and even Nole, hurts him quite a bit in this case.
No, it doesn't. The greatest tennis players ever have suffered tons of losses - that's because tennis is a sport with very high variance in it, something which is unavoidable when you consider the different surfaces they play on, the day-to-day struggle to keep fit/recovered/sharp, the massive technical prowess needed across 4+ completely different strokes (greater than any other skill sport) and then the sheer volume of matches you have to play which generally increases as you get better (since you stay in tournaments longer).

I know some of these guys are playing team sports, but sport's in general, beating your rivals is always the key to one's success and dominance.
You're viewing rivals in the wrong light, as many do. Federer's rivals are everyone else on tour. Nadal's rivals are everyone else on tour. Not each other except in debates pushed by partisan hacks.

Federer's career winning percentage is 82%. The All Blacks, often lauded as the greatest team in international sport has a winning record of 77.21%

If you look at Michael Jordan's best six seasons with the Bulls.. every single one is worse than Federer's best 6 seasons in percentage win terms. He had no time-outs, no subs, no team-mates etc and he did it traveling to 10+ countries.

..Other GOAT athletes were wayyyyy ahead of their field both at their peaks and historically which showed how superior they were to everyone else who played the sport.
Back to the variance point I make above. Being 1% ahead of your closest rivals in a sport like tennis is like having a 10% better winning record than your closest rival in football... or 100% better in swimming. Sports just can't be compared in the way you're framing it. In swimming and running the even is over in the blink of an eye and the best look much better comparatively than those they beat. In tennis the season-long tos and fros and multitudes of factors which don't impact a sport like swimming come into play - so it's much harder to build a huge gap in win percentage terms - not to mention the nature of the game which isn't a finish-line (swimming) or time limit (basketball, soccer etc) type sport where more often than not the leading competitor can ease off for the last 1/4 of the event.

There is no denying the athletic rarity of people like Phelps but he's in one of the least (all-round) skilled and least popular sports there is. His skill is mostly sticking it out for all those early morning training sessions and for being extremely fortunate genetically (height, limb length/ratio etc).
 
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metsman

G.O.A.T.
Good joke. I can see a lot of NBA experts here in this forum. Jordan playing in a weak era???? Barkley, Malone, Drexler, Ewing, Stockton, Olajuwon, Payton, Shaq, Isiah, Bird, Magic the list goes on. The 90's might not have been quite as strong as the 80's but there were plenty of HOFs, LOL at people claiming LeBron is the GOAT, if there is any weka era than it is today with basically only two teams with a decent chance to win the championship. Big LOL at people talking about LeBron had to face Goating Nowitzki!!! Or viewing Shaq and Kobe as the pinnacle of Basketball greatness where Jordan was lucky not to face them. Prime Barkley and Malone were considerably better than any version of Nowitzki and Jordan's Bulls would easily destroy the 00's Lakers.
And by the way I am on of the biggest Hakeem fans, one of the greatest of all time in my opinion, surpassed only by Wilt as a center. A 2,18 guy who is Top 20 in Steals!!! He was a bad matchup for Jordan and Hakeem's Rockets are actually 13-10 against Jordan's Bulls but it is not that they prevented the Bulls from anything in the Playoffs and that Jordan took advantage of Hakeem's decline or something. In reality, Hakeem never reached a NBA final with Jordan around and only won during MJ's first retirement. Once Jordan was back the Rockets were done, so hardly Jordan's fault that this matchup never happened in a NBA final.
Hakeem is irrelevant as competition, Jordan never played him in the playoffs. Barkley in his prime only had a good team once, Jordan to his credit GOATed to beat that team. Drexler is a great player but not some big time competition considering Jordan had a player of similar caliber next to him. If Sabonis had been able to come over and join that Blazers team earlier, then yeah that would be a scary team on the level of the teams LeBron faced in most of his finals. But everyone knew the 92 Blazers were going to screw it up.

Putting Malone and Dirk in the same conversation in terms of impact is laughable especially in the playoffs. Malone was a GOAT level transition/PnR finisher with a decent shot, not a primary offensive creator like Dirk and Barkley. Barkley and Dirk are similar sort of players but Dirk was more consistent and the spacing effects he provided elevated his teams a little more. Dirk 2011 is better than anyone Jordan ever faced in the finals.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Jordan did not carry basketball. It was massive already and continued to be.

Phelps "carried" swimming from being the 150th most popular sport to being the 147th most popular sport. :p Swimming is a non-event in terms of sporting achievement compared to tennis, golf, basketball and many other multi-skilled sports which aren't almost entirely about pure repetition. And any sport which gives out gold medals like Tic-Tacs as swimming does needs to be viewed a bit differently.


No, it doesn't. The greatest tennis players ever have suffered tons of losses - that's because tennis is a sport with very high variance in it, something which is unavoidable when you consider the different surfaces they play on, the day-to-day struggle to keep fit/recovered/sharp, the massive technical prowess needed across 4+ completely different strokes (greater than any other skill sport) and then the sheer volume of matches you have to play which generally increases as you get better (since you stay in tournaments longer).


You're viewing rivals in the wrong light, as many do. Federer's rivals are everyone else on tour. Nadal's rivals are everyone else on tour. Not each other except in debates pushed by partisan hacks.

Federer's career winning percentage is 82%. The All Blacks, often lauded as the greatest team in international sport has a winning record of 77.21%

If you look at Michael Jordan's best six seasons with the Bulls.. every single one is worse than Federer's best 6 seasons in percentage win terms. He had no time-outs, no subs, no team-mates etc and he did it traveling to 10+ countries.


Back to the variance point I make above. Being 1% ahead of your closest rivals in a sport like tennis is like having a 10% better winning record than your closest rival in football... or 100% better in swimming. Sports just can't be compared in the way you're framing it. In swimming and running the even is over in the blink of an eye and the best look much better comparatively than those they beat. In tennis the season-long tos and fros and multitudes of factors which don't impact a sport like swimming come into play - so it's much harder to build a huge gap in win percentage terms - not to mention the nature of the game which isn't a finish-line (swimming) or time limit (basketball, soccer etc) type sport where more often than not the leading competitor can ease off for the last 1/4 of the event.

There is no denying the athletic rarity of people like Phelps but he's in one of the least (all-round) skilled and least popular sports there is. His skill is mostly sticking it out for all those early morning training sessions and for being extremely fortunate genetically (height, limb length/ratio etc).
You make good points, but swimming may not be extremely mainstream year in year out, but still, it's one of the more popular sports at the Olympics (the biggest sporting event worldwide) and Phelps has 23 (!!!) gold medals in his career which is the most among any athlete and is a record that will be nearly impossible for anyone to top. And Usain Bolt is the fastest man to ever live (that statement itself could put you ahead of any other athlete out there), plus all the records he's gotten over the years is legendary as well and no one is even close. As for fame and popularity, MJ, Ali and Tiger Woods are three of the most popular athletes of all time. No one impacted their sport more than these three guys in terms of global popularity. They were ultra superstars in the global community and you'd have to be living under a rock to not of heard of them. These are guys that the average citizen who doesn't watch a single minute of sports would still of heard of. They took their sports to another dimension and had a ton of accolades to show for as well. In terms of mental and competitiveness, Ali, Jordan and Tiger were also three of the scariest competitors we've ever seen across sports; they were simply assassins on the court who were out there to cut throats and intimidate the living hell outta their opponents in order to ensure that they were the alpha dog. It may sound cruel but in order to become an ATG athlete, you have to have the unhuman like competitiveness that can send chills down your opponents spine. Wayne Gretzky imo can also legitimately be the greatest athlete ever. He owns a total of 61 NHL records and even more impressive is that in a lot of those records no one is even remotely close to him, not Jagr, Howe, or Lemieux. He made hockey look easy in his hey day and as we all know hockey is an extremely physical sport where fighting is legal and concussions have ended several players' careers.

Also about the h2h, I know its different among every sport, but beating your TOP rival is still very important. If Jordan had a losing record against Ewing, Barkley or Malone, it'd be hard to call him goat, same goes for all the other guys I mentioned. If Ali got bested by Frazier more times than not, then he wouldn't be goat either. Federer is definitely the best player of his sport without a doubt, but he's not the greatest athlete of all time as others have more impressive accolades/records, were more incredible natural athletes, had larger overall international fame/impact, and the mental/competiveness that triumphed them over all their rivals.
 

zagor

Bionic Poster
Ali, Jordan and Tiger were also three of the scariest competitors we've ever seen across sports; they were simply assassins on the court who were out there to cut throats and intimidate the living hell outta their opponents in order to ensure that they were the alpha dog. It may sound cruel but in order to become an ATG athlete, you have to have the unhuman like competitiveness that can send chills down your opponents spine. Wayne Gretzky imo can also legitimately be the greatest athlete ever.
I think you've watched Rocky one too many times.

Jordan had a team (if Pippen had been traded in mid 90s things could have been very different for Jordan/Bulls), Ali did a lot of ducking and fighting tomato cans as boxing champions usually do (I doubt George Foreman would have fallen for rope a dope twice for example) and Tiger was/is a golfer. It's my personal bias but I just can't take golf seriously when we're discussing greatest athletes of all time (or cutting throats and intimidating, it just doesn't mesh well with golf in my eyes).

if Ali got bested by Frazier more times than not, then he wouldn't be goat either.
It's very debatable if he was actually. Certainly not a cut and dried case, their 3d (and most famous) fight.

Of course that only further showcases how hard it is to compare athletes across different sports. In tennis coaches have no say during the actual match and are relegated to the role of a glorified cheerleader (in most cases, some try to break that rule more than others).
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
I normally don't visit this (sub)forum anymore, but since the title of this thread caught my attention on the main page let me add some antidote to the predictably ignorant hyperbole on display.

First off, I spent most of my early years abroad where basketball used to be a near complete non-factor so trust me on this one: Federer or any other tennis player (with the only possible exception of BJK, but even that would be a stretch) doesn't come even close to matching Jordan's impact on his sport or the world at large. I've said this before but I've yet to see in my lifetime (which admittedly doesn't go back far) another athlete elevate his sport and brand to the same dizzying extent as did MJ. And to be fair to Fed I don't see how anybody could match MJ these days, for reasons that I won't delve into here (long story short: today's market is too diverse and fractured to allow such a concentration of power). For his true rivals you'd have to turn to the football/soccer legends plus Ali, and yet even here MJ has the sole distinction of nearly undisputed supremacy in his own sport (LeBron might have his defenders now but try making a GOAT case for him among true bball connoisseurs and you'll be instantly laughed at). Again you could chalk this up to MJ coming at the right place at the right time, but you already can see where this slippery slope is leading to.

Second it seems many of you could use an occasional step outside of your bubble, and I'm not just talking tennis vs. other sports. The factor of the matter is that in terms of world demographics tennis is still a niche bourgeois sport compared to football or even basketball, and I'm guessing also cricket. Don't be fooled by the AO's latest revenue figures or the number of clicks/likes that Fed or the next tennis hotshot attracts. If your audience has more disposable income and time to burn, then of course you're going to have more money and clicks flowing in. In fact golf outpaces tennis by several economic measures, but does anyone really think MJ or Fed for that matter has been overtaken by Tiger (who according to some here doesn't even play a real sport)? Plus I can tell you for a fact that my mom who still lives overseas didn't know who Fed was until I began telling her about him several years ago, while she's been well aware of a Messi or a Ronaldo by name and face, and I guarantee you many non-sports fans worldwide are in the same boat.

And last but not least, it's always a mug's game to compare different sports but I followed both MJ and Fed in their prime pretty closely and to me there's no question MJ was a better, more intense competitor than Fed ever was. That's really no knock on Fed as MJ is the best I've ever seen in this regard (and the worst too, as anybody who's seen his impossibly d!ckish HoF speech will attest). But when you make hyperbolic claims for somebody who in the minds of many still doesn't rank first in said areas even in his own niche sport you can see how absurd this comparison is.

At the risk of offending someone: I don't know who Brady is. I got the impression he's NFL (properly seen him mentioned here a few times), but I wouldn't be able to put a face on him.
No need to be so diplomatic. I doubt many people outside North America know who ANY NFL player (past or present) is, which frankly shows the OP's myopia. Hockey is a more popular sport but it still ain't basketball or cricket, let alone football, and while Gretzky certainly has the numbers many would vouch for somebody like Orr over him.

Of course even in his own sport MJ's throne isn't entirely untouchable as the likes of Wilt, Russell and Kareem do have some points in their favor, but I've long maintained that it doesn't make sense to compare smalls (guards/small forwards) and bigs (centers and... basically anyone bigger than smalls, duh) in basketball as they have fundamentally different roles to play. And did I say basketball is second only to football/soccer? So yeah, MJ > Gretzky. :D It's frankly not even close.

Jordan had a team (if Pippen had been traded in mid 90s things could have been very different for Jordan/Bulls), Ali did a lot of ducking and fighting tomato cans as boxing champions usually do (I doubt George Foreman would have fallen for rope a dope twice for example) and Tiger was/is a golfer. It's my personal bias but I just can't take golf seriously when we're discussing greatest athletes of all time (or cutting throats and intimidating, it just doesn't mesh well with golf in my eyes).
And I'm sure you're well aware that Ali himself named Sugar Ray Robinson the GOAT, and even now most boxing pundits would second that assessment in a pound-for-pound ranking.

Which brings us to....

Of course that only further showcases how hard it is to compare athletes across different sports.
That really should be the final nail in this coffin. :cool:
 

Skyblues

New User
20 major titles. 30 major final appearances. 6 year end championships, 10 year end finals appearances.

In his last FIFTY SIX major appearances, he's been to at least the QF's or better FIFTY times...FIFTY.
In his last fifty six major appearances, he's been to the Semi-finals or better FOURTY-FOUR TIMES!!!
He has a 90% winning percentage in slams since mid-2003.

He's been in 145 professional tournament finals, winning 96. His major wins are now 14 1/2 years apart.
He's won doubles Gold. He's led Switzerland to the Davis Cup title. He's led his team to 2 Hopman Cup wins.
He's missed TWO slam events in over 16 years.

We all know about his ranking longevity at Number 1 or 2 or 3.

He is the greatest in his sport, without question. He's been far more consistent than Serena ever was...there's no comparison there (and he has 24 more titles than her).

For longevity and consistent excellence, he's the greatest of the last 100 years. Who is better? And, he'd have 5 or more French Opens if he didn't have to go against the greatest clay court player ever...BY FAR.

And even when Novak was dominating in stretches, Fed always found ways to beat him in Masters events. Fed was right there with him, as he's always been with Rafa...whom he's now beaten FOUR times in a row. If anyone can't give him his props or is still unwilling to call him the greatest without question, you seriously have an unhealthy need to rebel for the sake of rebelling...it points to your own stubborness, arrogance and pride.
Nadal is the best ever male tennis player. Federer ha simpressive statistics but in the era of Nadal Djokovic and himself he is a distant third as from 2009 which is when all three were peak at the same time age wise, I.e over 21 the major count is Nadal 12, Djokovic 11 Federer 6. That is a significant margin.

To be the best a player has to be the best amongst his rivals.
 

sbengte

G.O.A.T.
Nadal is the best ever male tennis player. Federer ha simpressive statistics but in the era of Nadal Djokovic and himself he is a distant third as from 2009 which is when all three were peak at the same time age wise, I.e over 21 the major count is Nadal 12, Djokovic 11 Federer 6. That is a significant margin.

To be the best a player has to be the best amongst his rivals.
Nadal needed his main rivals to be injured (Djokovic) and old (actually scratch that, he got his ass whooped by grandpa Fed last year) and the competition to be at it's nadir to get to #1. When Fed-Djoker were fit and in their prime, Nadal was the perennial bridesmaid to them.
 

Clay lover

Hall of Fame
Perception of greatness is very region specific. Outside of North America no one cares about Gretzky and Brady, whereas locally they are held in much higher regard, maybe even more so than Federer is.

Going by the sheer number of people backing up his greatness Federer is undoubtedly greater than the former two and on par with Jordan. After all, almost everyone outside NA will consider Federer as greater.
 
D

Deleted member 742196

Guest
Perception of greatness is very region specific. Outside of North America no one cares about Gretzky and Brady, whereas locally they are held in much higher regard, maybe even more so than Federer is.

Going by sheer numbers backing up his greatness Federer is undoubtedly greater than the former two and on par with Jordan.

China
India

Jordan is a brand of ugly shoes in both. Federer by far is the most globally beloved athlete.
 

zagor

Bionic Poster
And I'm sure you're well aware that Ali himself named Sugar Ray Robinson the GOAT, and even now most boxing pundits would second that assessment in a pound-for-pound ranking.

Which brings us to....
Yup, he often clarified that he considered himself the greatest heavyweight of all time, not the greatest pound for pound fighter which was Sugar Ray Robinson (Ali's idol).

That really should be the final nail in this coffin. :cool:
Pretty much, there's just too many differences between sports whether we're talking about team sports vs one-on-one (which changes dynamics completely), different aspects of athleticism being rewarded, different rules and season structure etc.

What we can say about Fed is that he's the most popular/biggest star since Agassi and that he's one of the best tennis players of all time. Everything beyond that is debatable.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
Basketball viewership for the playoffs (or maybe it's just the finals) was tremendous though during the Jordan reign and after he retired it dropped like a stone, with no like resurgence since—though ratings started hotting up through the GSW-Cavs match-ups in more recent times.
 

FHtennisman

Professional
At the risk of offending someone: I don't know who Brady is. I got the impression he's NFL (properly seen him mentioned here a few times), but I wouldn't be able to put a face on him.
I'v heard of him but only because I frequent these forums, otherwise, I don't follow American sports and I don't think GOAT debates should be restricted to American sports and a couple of other global sports like tennis.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
I'v heard of him but only because I frequent these forums, otherwise, I don't follow American sports and I don't think GOAT debates should be restricted to American sports and a couple of other global sports like tennis.
Before a few days ago I thought Tom Brady was a pianist.
 

JackGates

Hall of Fame
Basketball viewership for the playoffs (or maybe it's just the finals) was tremendous though during the Jordan reign and after he retired it dropped like a stone, with no like resurgence since—though ratings started hotting up through the GSW-Cavs match-ups in more recent times.
No it wasn't. Now people can watch Federer for free on youtube and you can't judge just using TV ratings. There is also pay per view.

Well, if ratings dropped after Jordan retired, it means he didn't have all time greats in his era, so it was a weak era, if when he was gone, there was nobody left.

If Fed retires, I think Djokovic and Nadal would be able to carry on tennis.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
Yup, he often clarified that he considered himself the greatest heavyweight of all time, not the greatest pound for pound fighter which was Sugar Ray Robinson (Ali's idol).
Also what people often don't get is that Ali calling himself the Greatest was as much bluster and performance as pure arrogance. Bolt does more or less the same thing, though I think in his case he does tend to believe what he says... and I love him for it. :D (Also the same reason why Carl Lewis is one of my faves ever, if you care to know.)

Pretty much, there's just too many differences between sports whether we're talking about team sports vs one-on-one (which changes dynamics completely), different aspects of athleticism being rewarded, different rules and season structure etc.

What we can say about Fed is that he's the most popular/biggest star since Agassi and that he's one of the best tennis players of all time. Everything beyond that is debatable.
I'm sure a few Rafaelites have something to say about that. ;)

But yeah, what Fed (and Rafa) has done in their 30s is just amazing. I used to second Bud Collins' prediction of 17-18 majors for Fed but now I'm beginning to think he might pass Rosewall with the most generous accounting (what was it now, like 23?). Still would bet against it but then I've never seen such a dearth of young talent before (there I said it) so maybe it's more doable.

Basketball viewership for the playoffs (or maybe it's just the finals) was tremendous though during the Jordan reign and after he retired it dropped like a stone, with no like resurgence since—though ratings started hotting up through the GSW-Cavs match-ups in more recent times.
Of course it's possible that MJ and LBJ switching places might have produced the same outcomes, but I doubt it. I know I may not be the most impartial observer but MJ had that X factor that I've yet to see from any other basketball player except Kobe, and not quite even in the latter's case (as you know Kobe wasn't quite the same athletic freak as MJ or LBJ).

I don't mean to sound like an old fogey here as I'm nowhere near there yet (honest!), but I don't think most youngsters can appreciate just what a massive worldwide phenomenon MJ was unless they lived through it. You might have seen me telling these stories before about my experience overseas but I knew what the "Jordan number" was even though I had yet to watch a single basketball game on TV, because you really couldn't miss that "23" emblazoned on some Nike (or fake) wear if you were a schoolboy at the time. In fact there was no way to catch any live NBA action on TV back then... unless you didn't mind watching the unintelligible English-language broadcasts on the American military channel... which is exactly what many of my classmates did! And they'd go far as to record and share tapes of certain MJ games that they were interested in, during lunch or under the table of course as videocassettes of any type weren't allowed in school. And get this: the MJ phenomenon got so big the sports section of domestic newscasts would be featuring the latest NBA news (I'll admit Shaq was another big name at the time), even though no domestic channel had yet to show full NBA games!

Just chew on that for a second, and think how big the MJ brand must have been to be able to command that much marketing power. Could LBJ, Kobe or any other successor to His Airness have done the same? Possible, yes, but I doubt it. Like I said MJ had that combo of power, skill, speed and intensity that I've yet to see in any other athlete in my lifetime, and unlike LBJ (at least at first) he was also a shrewd PR player who knew exactly what kind of innocuous soundbite to feed the public (as you may know reporters would be surprised at the level of trash talk and even venom he'd be spewing in closed practice). You could say he was the first modern athlete in that regard: a fine-tuned corporate machine designed to attract the most top dollars while demanding the blindest fan loyalty. That's the part of his legacy I don't much care for (it was/is absolutely hilarious to see his fanboys brush aside his utterly classless HoF speech like it was nothing), but what he gave on the court was so special I like many others don't care much the other way either.

As you can see even I'm not completely immune to corporate PR. :D But nobody is, much as we like to pretend otherwise.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
Also what people often don't get is that Ali calling himself the Greatest was as much bluster and performance as pure arrogance. Bolt does more or less the same thing, though I think in his case he does tend to believe what he says... and I love him for it. :D (Also the same reason why Carl Lewis is one of my faves ever, if you care to know.)



I'm sure a few Rafaelites have something to say about that. ;)

But yeah, what Fed (and Rafa) has done in their 30s is just amazing. I used to second Bud Collins' prediction of 17-18 majors for Fed but now I'm beginning to think he might pass Rosewall with the most generous accounting (what was it now, like 23?). Still would bet against it but then I've never seen such a dearth of young talent before (there I said it) so maybe it's more doable.



Of course it's possible that MJ and LBJ switching places might have produced the same outcomes, but I doubt it. I know I may not be the most impartial observer but MJ had that X factor that I've yet to see from any other basketball player except Kobe, and not quite even in the latter's case (as you know Kobe wasn't quite the same athletic freak as MJ or LBJ).

I don't mean to sound like an old fogey here as I'm nowhere near there yet (honest!), but I don't think most youngsters can appreciate just what a massive worldwide phenomenon MJ was unless they lived through it. You might have seen me telling these stories before about my experience overseas but I knew what the "Jordan number" was even though I had yet to watch a single basketball game on TV, because you really couldn't miss that "23" emblazoned on some Nike (or fake) wear if you were a schoolboy at the time. In fact there was no way to catch any NBA action on TV back then... unless you didn't mind watching the unintelligible English-language broadcasts on the American military channel... which is exactly what many of my classmates did! And they'd go far as to record and share tapes of certain MJ games that they were interested in, during lunch or under the table of course as videocassettes of any type weren't allowed in school. And get this: the MJ phenomenon got so big the sports section of domestic newscasts would be featuring the latest NBA news (I'll admit Shaq was another big name at the time), even though no domestic channel had yet to show full NBA games!

Just chew on that for a second, and think how big the MJ brand must have been to be able to command that much marketing power. Could LBJ, Kobe or any other successor to His Airness have done the same? Possible, yes, but I doubt it. Like I said MJ had that combo of power, skill, speed and intensity that I've yet to see in any other athlete in my lifetime, and unlike LBJ (at least at first) he was also a shrewd PR player who knew exactly what kind of innocuous soundbite to feed the public (as you may know reporters would be surprised at the level of trash talk and even venom he'd be spewing in closed practice). You could say he was the first modern athlete in that regard: a fine-tuned corporate machine designed to attract the most top dollars while demanding the blindest fan loyalty. That's the part of his legacy I don't much care for (it was/is absolutely hilarious to see his fanboys brush aside his utterly classless HoF speech like it was nothing), but what he gave on the court was so special I like many others don't care much the other way either.

As you can see even I'm not completely immune to corporate PR. :D But nobody is, much as we like to pretend otherwise.
No, I doubt LeBron or Kobe would have achieved the same. I think Jordan was well placed and well timed, but the very best also to be of that time. A perfect storm. I was talking of those viewing figures to also put into context just how massive a deal MJ was, as he really kept the momentum going and then escalated it even after the iconic era of (Lakers-Celtics, Magic-Bird) which preceded his era of winning.

I won't be so quick to write off Federer just yet though as an equally effective competitor if he continues this impressive longevity and can win further Slams over the next few years, in an individual sport no less where any slip in level cannot be covered by team-mates (he can't Kareem his later career). Supposing for a moment he does do that, despite not having perhaps the same intensity and killer instinct, in his own unique way he'd have carved out a comparably legendary career. Perhaps it's that lower absolute intensity and fire.. or whatever.. which may allow Federer to keep going like this whereas Jordan was pretty spent by this stage (was it at 36 he retired? + the break). We don't speak of the Washington years even though he was plenty solid.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
No, I doubt LeBron or Kobe would have achieved the same. I think Jordan was well placed and well timed, but the very best also to be of that time. A perfect storm. I was talking of those viewing figures to also put into context just how massive a deal MJ was, as he really kept the momentum going and then escalated it even after the iconic era of (Lakers-Celtics, Magic-Bird) which preceded his era of winning.
Yes, like I said I do believe MJ was the beneficiary of perfect timing. My note to the naysayers is, the guy was more than that. He really was special, and though I'm generally loath to compare different sports I'd pick MJ as the best athlete I've ever seen if forced to pick one.

I won't be so quick to write off Federer just yet though as an equally effective competitor if he continues this impressive longevity and can win further Slams over the next few years, in an individual sport no less where any slip in level cannot be covered by team-mates (he can't Kareem his later career). Supposing for a moment he does do that, despite not having perhaps the same intensity and killer instinct, in his own unique way he'd have carved out a comparably legendary career. Perhaps it's that lower absolute intensity and fire.. or whatever.. which may allow Federer to keep going like this whereas Jordan was pretty spent by this stage (was it at 36 he retired? + the break). We don't speak of the Washington years even though he was plenty solid.
I wasn't "writing off" Fed so much as gauging his competition, which I think most would admit isn't looking all that imposing in the next few years, which in turn is why I give him a good shot to win more majors.

And yes, I know that's the point usually made about Fed, that it's his very lack of max intensity which has allowed him to last as long as he did... but then Rafa isn't looking to hang up his racquet anytime soon either (yes I know he's younger). Neither did Jimbo for that matter, and I suppose you could say Lendl too before injuries forced him out. Suffice it to say I don't buy HCs being such a big factor in the longevity of tennis players, and that when we count just how many extra majors Fedal have over their predecessors we're making the same mistake as did Pete and to a lesser extent Borg, both of whom I think were victims of lowered expectations.

BTW I find it very tricky if not tacky to compare basketball and tennis in terms of their players' longevity. People here like to pooh-pooh a LBJ or Steph for playing "only" 40 minutes or under (yes I know you didn't) while their tennis heroes average more per match, but what they don't get is that basketball involves lots of physical contact not to mention more explosive movement than tennis. 10 minutes of bball simply take more out of you than 10 minutes of tennis, and provided that two players play each sport for the same amount of time it's natural the bballer would show more wear and tear than the tennis guy.

Of course (pro) bball OTOH offers a much longer vacation than tennis so maybe it kinda evens out, but if it does turn out that Fed playing at 36 is the new normal then we'll know for sure the earlier Open-era guys did indeed suffer from the soft bigotry of low expectations. (In that case there will no doubt be much clueless talk about the latest "advanced" training, medicine or whatnot but it'll be little more than hot air.) And I know they're going gaga over LBJ's longevity right now but that's also what they were saying about Kobe before injuries (as you know he was posting some of the best shooting %s of his career before the first of his two big injuries) ended his career for good. But then given today's small ball (and no hand-checking) maybe LBJ's 33-34 will become the new normal, too. Guess we'll find out soon enough.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
Yes, like I said I do believe MJ was the beneficiary of perfect timing. My note to the naysayers is, the guy was more than that. He really was special, and though I'm generally loath to compare different sports I'd pick MJ as the best athlete I've ever seen if forced to pick one.



I wasn't "writing off" Fed so much as gauging his competition, which I think most would admit isn't looking all that imposing in the next few years, which in turn is why I give him a good shot to win more majors.

And yes, I know that's the point usually made about Fed, that it's his very lack of max intensity which has allowed him to last as long as he did... but then Rafa isn't looking to hang up his racquet anytime soon either (yes I know he's younger). Neither did Jimbo for that matter, and I suppose you could say Lendl too before injuries forced him out. Suffice it to say I don't buy HCs being such a big factor in the longevity of tennis players, and that when we count just how many extra majors Fedal have over their predecessors we're making the same mistake as did Pete and to a lesser extent Borg, both of whom I think were victims of lowered expectations.

BTW I find it very tricky if not tacky to compare basketball and tennis in terms of their players' longevity. People here like to pooh-pooh a LBJ or Steph for playing "only" 40 minutes or under (yes I know you didn't) while their tennis heroes average more per match, but what they don't get is that basketball involves lots of physical contact not to mention more explosive movement than tennis. 10 minutes of bball simply take more out of you than 10 minutes of tennis, and provided that two players play each sport for the same amount of time it's natural the bballer would show more wear and tear than the tennis guy.

Of course (pro) bball OTOH offers a much longer vacation than tennis so maybe it kinda evens out, but if it does turn out that Fed playing at 36 is the new normal then we'll know for sure the earlier Open-era guys did indeed suffer from the soft bigotry of low expectations. (In that case there will no doubt be much clueless talk about the latest "advanced" training, medicine or whatnot but it'll be little more than hot air.) And I know they're going gaga over LBJ's longevity right now but that's also what they were saying about Kobe before injuries (as you know he was posting some of the best shooting %s of his career before the first of his two big injuries) ended his career for good. But then given today's small ball (and no hand-checking) maybe LBJ's 33-34 will become the new normal, too. Guess we'll find out soon enough.
It's hard to judge the whole longevity thing at the moment because it's difficult to know if it's a trend or an exception. What Federer is doing might not seem so extraordinary in five years time if and when Nadal and Djokovic are achieving similar exploits. There's still a lot that can be said in this ongoing era whereas by an equivalent time MJ had totally wrapped it up, unquestionably the greatest of his era. MJ doesn't have incredible longevity even for his sport and could have sustained a near league best level for much longer still but he'd had enough. I wouldn't say I count it against him, such was the intensity and edge he carried and the success it wrought.

I haven't come across many naysayers of MJ but I don't hang around basketball fans or forums that much, but we're so post-Mike now that the upcoming generations are going to have a certain ignorance toward him. We'll never be truly post-Mike though, such is his legacy, and so the naysayers will be the minority for a very long time. I think LeBron had the raw tools to be as good as MJ, but (as I keep repeating from time to time here) he does too much himself—he's too much of the system. For many that makes him amazing (he can do everything!) but for me it raises some questions, that along with other aspects of his temperament and his actual record means that it's unlikely he'll ever catch Mike. I keenly await the next player who could really be on that level in terms of the raw skills, the mentality and the success. I might be dead before the day comes.

On your other points I have nothing to add, and certainly agree with your considerations.
 

Binny99

New User
Nadal needed his main rivals to be injured (Djokovic) and old (actually scratch that, he got his ass whooped by grandpa Fed last year) and the competition to be at it's nadir to get to #1. When Fed-Djoker were fit and in their prime, Nadal was the perennial bridesmaid to them.
Rubbish. Since 2009 Nadal has been the dominant player. 14 majors with Djokovic on 12. No excuse for Federer to be so far behind. Most people in the Western Hemisphere have Nadal as GOAT.
 

Binny99

New User
Nadal needed his main rivals to be injured (Djokovic) and old (actually scratch that, he got his ass whooped by grandpa Fed last year) and the competition to be at it's nadir to get to #1. When Fed-Djoker were fit and in their prime, Nadal was the perennial bridesmaid to them.
You are just salty Nadal was the best of 2017 and for the 10straight year had a better year than Federer. Fact not opinion.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
Rubbish. Since 2009 Nadal has been the dominant player. 14 majors with Djokovic on 12. No excuse for Federer to be so far behind. Most people in the Western Hemisphere have Nadal as GOAT.
Since Nadal won his first Slam Federer has been the 'dominant' player with a 'crushing' 16-15 edge in Slams! OK, if we are generous and include Nadal's first Slam in the count (so giving him a 1-0 advantage) then it's 16-16.
 

Binny99

New User
Since Nadal won his first Slam Federer has been the 'dominant' player with a 'crushing' 16-15 edge in Slams! OK, if we are generous and include Nadal's first Slam in the count (so giving him a 1-0 advantage) then it's 16-16.
Nadal wasn’t peak until 2008, any player is not peak until 21. Nadal and Djokovic have dominated last 10 years, Federer not even close. It’s a fact that cannot be ignored. Federer was 26 in 2008 so should have been dominatin g 2008-2012 yet he was third in that period.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
Nadal wasn’t peak until 2008, any player is not peak until 21. Nadal and Djokovic have dominated last 10 years, Federer not even close. It’s a fact that cannot be ignored. Federer was 26 in 2008 so should have been dominatin g 2008-2012 yet he was third in that period.
No matter what way you slice it, using ALL of Nadal's best tennis post his first Slam, using that as a starting point... the starting gun... sees that Federer has still won more Slams even when you take away a lot of his best tennis to date (2003-2005 until Wimbledon). I'll be generous - let's include the first Slam in the count.

16-16.
 

Binny99

New User
No matter what way you slice it, using ALL of Nadal's best tennis post his first Slam, using that as a starting point... the starting gun... sees that Federer has still won more Slams even when you take away a lot of his best tennis to date (2003-2005 until Wimbledon).
You are clutching at straws. Nadal was nowhere near a great player until 2008,it’s just that Federer was poor on clay over 5 sets that allowed a teenage Nadal to win FO. I’m sorry I appreciate it Is disappointing but it’s not debatable that Nadal and Djokovic are both ahead of Federer in terms of greatness. Federer fan logic dictates this as Federer fans said Djokovic nole slam was in a weak era and his AO wins weren’t meaningful as it’s the least important major. Well karma has come back to bite I’d say
 

JackGates

Hall of Fame
You are just salty Nadal was the best of 2017 and for the 10straight year had a better year than Federer. Fact not opinion.
Not really, it was pretty close in the end Rafa deserved it, Fed didn't do anything on clay.

But I'm salty in 2018, that Fed who won two of last 3 majors and is undefeated in 2018 is still nr.2. That just seems wrong, especially when Rafa can't beat Federer anymore.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
You are clutching at straws. Nadal was nowhere near a great player until 2008,it’s just that Federer was poor on clay over 5 sets that allowed a teenage Nadal to win FO. I’m sorry I appreciate it Is disappointing but it’s not debatable that Nadal and Djokovic are both ahead of Federer in terms of greatness. Federer fan logic dictates this as Federer fans said Djokovic nole slam was in a weak era and his AO wins weren’t meaningful as it’s the least important major. Well karma has come back to bite I’d say
I'm just clutching at facts. Now riddle me this:

Suppose from here on out that Federer wins one more Slam than Nadal, so that even if Nadal's first Slam is counted in the concurrent 'primes' (Slam winning form) that Federer will lead by one even with some of his best tennis not being counted in the score. What logic will you fall back on to explain that over a period of 13+ years that Federer would be ahead of Nadal in that window? Suppose Nadal retires first and Federer, after leading him by one, goes on to win yet a further final Slam, winning more than Nadal while they were both active and also winning before and after Nadal's entire career stretch. How would you explain that away?
 

Binny99

New User
Not really, it was pretty close in the end Rafa deserved it, Fed didn't do anything on clay.

But I'm salty in 2018, that Fed who won two of last 3 majors and is undefeated in 2018 is still nr.2. That just seems wrong, especially when Rafa can't beat Federer anymore.
It’s irrelevant what the rankings are in February. That’s like saying you are annoyed in a soccer season half way through your team isn’t top. Only matters who is top at season end.
 

Binny99

New User
I'm just clutching at facts. Now riddle me this:

Suppose from here on out that Federer wins one more Slam than Nadal, so that even if Nadal's first Slam is counted in the concurrent 'primes' (Slam winning form) that Federer will lead by one even with some of his best tennis not being counted in the score. What logic will you fall back on to explain that over a period of 13+ years that Federer would be ahead of Nadal in that window? Suppose Nadal retires first and Federer, after leading him by one, goes on to win yet a further final Slam, winning more than Nadal while they were both active and also winning before and after Nadal's entire career stretch. How would you explain that away?
You are proving the point...the whole silly goat discussion can only take place when careers are over!! That is effectively what I am saying in a cheeky way! Why can’t people just enjoy the moment.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
You are proving the point...the whole silly goat discussion can only take place when careers are over!! That is effectively what I am saying in a cheeky way! Why can’t people just enjoy the moment.
Indeed. The story is still being written and nobody has a definitive claim over this era just yet.

I do agree it's silly but wanted to show just how close Nadal and Federer are. It will be a fascinating battle till the end, I think. All I'd say is that although Djokovic does have a few of his own arguments, it looks like a long shot for him to get seriously involved in the debate right now.
 

Binny99

New User
Indeed. The story is still being written and nobody has a definitive claim over this era just yet.

I do agree it's silly but wanted to show just how close Nadal and Federer are. It will be a fascinating battle till the end, I think. All I'd say is that although Djokovic does have a few of his own arguments, it looks like a long shot for him to get seriously involved in the debate right now.
I think it’s a three way debate, It will be a shame if injury spoils the story yet to be told.
 

BorgTheGOAT

Professional
A guy named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wants to have a word with you about Olajuwon.
Could be, actually a very tough coice, therefore I said that in my opinion Hakeem was a little better, fully understandable if someone else prefers Kareem. Old Jabbar handled young Kareem quite well in their playoff encounters, however in my opinion the Dream was a little more versatile. He was good in every stat category, no wonder he reached a quadruple double and 6 five-by-fives. Kareem was better in scoring and a slightly better rebounder, Hakeem the better shotblocker and by far better in steals. Really close call, but i would give it to the Dream.
 

BorgTheGOAT

Professional
2 things:
Pele was awesome, but he never played club football in Europe- the highest standard of football played anywhere in the world. Maradona was awesome too, and he dragged a poor Napoli team to the Serie A title, but his longevity was nowhere close to Messi's. Ronaldo has excelled with Man Utd. and Real Madrid, but he is not in Messi's league in terms of technical ability and versatility. It's absurd that Messi gets knocked by fans even now. Make no mistake. The guy is a once-in-a-lifetime player.
You are committing the commun error to judge Pele's career based on today's standards where club football in Europe is indeed the highest level, since every talent from South-America or Africa is sold to European clubs at a very young age. What you guys don't understand is that during Pele's time most great players were playing in their domestic leagues. With Brazil being by far the best national team of the late 50s and during the 60s and early 70s the best players in the world were playing in the brazilian leagues. Pele had to play all of Garrincha, Didi, Nilton Santos, Jarizinho, Tostao, Rivelino etc, back then the Brazilian leagues was every bit as strong as the best European leagues which becomes evident, as Pele's Santos destroyed the best European teams during there Europe tournees or in the Intercontinental Cup 62 and 63. There was no need for Pele to go to Europe since he was already playing in one of the best leagues. His scoring records there were statistically even better than Messi's with the difference, that he also excelled with the national squad winning a record of three wordl cups. There is still a lot left to do for Messi to be in the same conversation as Pele. That some people are already calling him the greatest is more because of recency bias.
 
D

Deleted member 742196

Guest
Jordan did not carry basketball. It was massive already and continued to be.

Phelps "carried" swimming from being the 150th most popular sport to being the 147th most popular sport. :p Swimming is a non-event in terms of sporting achievement compared to tennis, golf, basketball and many other multi-skilled sports which aren't almost entirely about pure repetition. And any sport which gives out gold medals like Tic-Tacs as swimming does needs to be viewed a bit differently.


No, it doesn't. The greatest tennis players ever have suffered tons of losses - that's because tennis is a sport with very high variance in it, something which is unavoidable when you consider the different surfaces they play on, the day-to-day struggle to keep fit/recovered/sharp, the massive technical prowess needed across 4+ completely different strokes (greater than any other skill sport) and then the sheer volume of matches you have to play which generally increases as you get better (since you stay in tournaments longer).


You're viewing rivals in the wrong light, as many do. Federer's rivals are everyone else on tour. Nadal's rivals are everyone else on tour. Not each other except in debates pushed by partisan hacks.

Federer's career winning percentage is 82%. The All Blacks, often lauded as the greatest team in international sport has a winning record of 77.21%

If you look at Michael Jordan's best six seasons with the Bulls.. every single one is worse than Federer's best 6 seasons in percentage win terms. He had no time-outs, no subs, no team-mates etc and he did it traveling to 10+ countries.


Back to the variance point I make above. Being 1% ahead of your closest rivals in a sport like tennis is like having a 10% better winning record than your closest rival in football... or 100% better in swimming. Sports just can't be compared in the way you're framing it. In swimming and running the even is over in the blink of an eye and the best look much better comparatively than those they beat. In tennis the season-long tos and fros and multitudes of factors which don't impact a sport like swimming come into play - so it's much harder to build a huge gap in win percentage terms - not to mention the nature of the game which isn't a finish-line (swimming) or time limit (basketball, soccer etc) type sport where more often than not the leading competitor can ease off for the last 1/4 of the event.

There is no denying the athletic rarity of people like Phelps but he's in one of the least (all-round) skilled and least popular sports there is. His skill is mostly sticking it out for all those early morning training sessions and for being extremely fortunate genetically (height, limb length/ratio etc).
Agree with this statement. Jordan would have certainly been a significant part of the NBA’s collective growth but in no way does he get the credit for what was already a popular mainstream sport (in the West at least). Showtime Lakers? Bird Celtics?

Jordan did more for Nike than anyone, I’ll admit. Heck, he did more for a brand’s rise. But not the sport.
 
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