The 41 Most Dominant Athletes of the Decade (Big 3 ranked)

clout

Hall of Fame
Most people in America still think Federer is the runaway number 1 while Nadal and Djokovic are #2 and #3, respectively, and that Djokodal are still in their early 20’s...

In other words, most Americans’ view on tennis is retroactive to 2007....LOL
 
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clout

Hall of Fame
Who got this baby (which, by the way, is the most prestigious title in Football):



Look here:



Team achievements are overrated when evaluating how good an individual player is. You win as a team and lose as a team, one guy can only do so much.
 
Team achievements are overrated when evaluating how good an individual player is. You win as a team and lose as a team, one guy can only do so much.
It is not clear to me what your post is supposed to mean, but I guess you wanted to tell Lew to not use individual achievements when the discussion is about team sports.

I kid, of course, you didn't want to do anything like that, so ------ >

 

MeatTornado

G.O.A.T.
Would you be upset or care if it was the opposite for previous decade of this century?

Imagine putting Federer at #4 and in front of Nadal or Djokovic in 2010-2019 time period. :-D
It's not a tennis magazine or tennis article. Who cares what someone who doesn't know what they're talking about says?
 

weakera

G.O.A.T.
For me, although I have very little interest in the Olympics, it's:

1. Bolt
2. Phelps

End of list.

Those two men dominated their popular respective sports for the decade. If you have two or more people from the same sport, then no-one dominated. If it's a team sport, then they have to basically carry their team and win everything. I don't really follow basketball, but perhaps James could sneak into third sport, but that's about it. Including anyone else means you aren't really taking about domination.

Bolt and Phelps were dominant... until 2016/2017. LeBron dominated his sport every single moment of the decade. He is the only reasonable choice, unless you somehow excuse the fact that Bolt and Phelps were active in 20-30 percent less of the decade.
 

weakera

G.O.A.T.
Most people in America still think Federer is the runaway number 1 while Nadal and Djokovic are #2 and #3, respectively, and that Djokodal are still in their early 20’s...

In other words, most Americans’ view on tennis is retroactive to 2007....LOL
Sad but true.
 

Enceladus

Legend
LOL! o_O :mad:(n) This is a completely ridiculous list. Djokovic, Bolt are grossly underrated, James, Serena, Federer, Brady, Kershaw, Taurasi and other are overrated. This list is tendentious and greatly influenced by American self-centeredness.
 

The_Mental_Giant

Hall of Fame
IMO, the best male athletes of the decade are:

1. Usain Bolt (no one separated himself from the field more than this great man)

2. LeBron James (second most dominant decade by an individual player in nba history after MJ in the 90’s)

3. Michael Phelps (had it not been for his mini hiatus earlier in the decade, he could’ve been number one)

4. Novak Djokovic (most successful player in perhaps the greatest decade in tennis history; the Nole Slam was one of the decades best sporting achievements)

5. Lionel Messi (imo, he’s the football GOAT)

6. Cristiano Ronaldo (one of the GOATs of football)

7. Rafael Nadal (in any other decade prior to 2000, he’d be the decades best tennis player)

8. Tom Brady (the most winningest QB of all time, and at 42, he never seems to go away)

9. Mike Trout (by far the youngest player on the list; Mike Trout at just 28 has dominanted this decade like very few before him)

10. Lewis Hamilton (certainly the greatest F1 driver of his gen, he may end up surpassing Jimmie Johnson’s records when it’s all said and done)

I’d like to hear everyone’s opinion on this list, just out of curiosity :)
Excellent list. Another thing to note is the age gap... The most successful sportment in the decade are all (or almost all) born between very late 1985 and mid 1987.. so they were aged 22,5-25 to 32-5-35 during the decade

LeBron .. very late 1984 (30 dec)
Lewis Hamilton.. early (7 jan) 1985
Ronaldo ..early ( 5 feb)1985
Phelps..mid (30 june)1985
Nadal.. mid (3 jun)1986
Bolt..mid-late (21 aug) 1986
Djokovic Mid (22 may) 1987
Messi Mid 1987 (24 june ) 1987

Between lebron and Messi (oldest and youngest) there is only 2 years 5 months and 25 days, less than 2,5 years... Which still proves how age is a determinant factor in success.. all those are global sports


Trout and Brady are exceptions but again they perform in all american sports were 90%+ of the players are american, and most of them anyways are known outside the US, I had never heard of trout before. And about tom brady only because he posed next to some tennis players one time.
 
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kevaninho

Hall of Fame
IMO, the best male athletes of the decade are:

1. Usain Bolt (no one separated himself from the field more than this great man)

2. LeBron James (second most dominant decade by an individual player in nba history after MJ in the 90’s)

3. Michael Phelps (had it not been for his mini hiatus earlier in the decade, he could’ve been number one)

4. Novak Djokovic (most successful player in perhaps the greatest decade in tennis history; the Nole Slam was one of the decades best sporting achievements)

5. Lionel Messi (imo, he’s the football GOAT)

6. Cristiano Ronaldo (one of the GOATs of football)

7. Rafael Nadal (in any other decade prior to 2000, he’d be the decades best tennis player)

8. Tom Brady (the most winningest QB of all time, and at 42, he never seems to go away)

9. Mike Trout (by far the youngest player on the list; Mike Trout at just 28 has dominanted this decade like very few before him)

10. Lewis Hamilton (certainly the greatest F1 driver of his gen, he may end up surpassing Jimmie Johnson’s records when it’s all said and done)

I’d like to hear everyone’s opinion on this list, just out of curiosity :)
I reckon on a WORLD scale, football trumps basketball at least, therefore id have Messi or Ronaldo fighting it out with Bolt at the top.
Tennis achievements wont be recognized the same as football either tbf.
Lewis Hamilton is a good shout in the top 10 for sure.
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
What stats?

Maybe the fact he was voted Frances best player at the WC.
Or that he came 3rd for player of the tournament , and won the silver boot ( as not even a striker ).

Anybody who watched Frances matches , could see he either scored or assisted in almost every game, not to mention man of the match in the final.

Is that enough?
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
La Pulga is way too loyal to his home to be bothered by some arbitrary challengers from the doubters. Besides, he actually did more damage against the best English teams than that other one guy, despite never playing in England himself.

If you believe so. He flourished under enough different systems in one place for me to think otherwise.
I like your claim that he 'done more damage against the best English teams' without any actual facts.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Excellent list. Another thing to note is the age gap... The most successful sportment in the decade are all (or almost all) born between very late 1985 and mid 1987.. so they were aged 22,5-25 to 32-5-35 during the decade

LeBron .. very late 1984 (30 dec)
Lewis Hamilton.. early (7 jan) 1985
Ronaldo ..early ( 5 feb)1985
Phelps..mid (30 june)1985
Nadal.. mid (3 jun)1986
Bolt..mid-late (21 aug) 1986
Djokovic Mid (22 may) 1987
Messi Mid 1987 (24 june ) 1987

Between lebron and Messi (oldest and youngest) there is only 2 years 5 months and 25 days, less than 2,5 years... Which still proves how age is a determinant factor in success.. all those are global sports


Trout and Brady are exceptions but again they perform in all american sports were 90%+ of the players are american, and most of them anyways are known outside the US, I had never heard of trout before. And about tom brady only because he posed next to some tennis players one time.
Great post. It’s pretty crazy how many great athletes were born in the mid 80’s. :eek:
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
Football is a team sport, so that is pretty much the most important thing. It is not my fault that Lew brings in highly irrelevant argument to make a point in the old vs young debate, and it is even less my fault that you and others like to troll here by supporting him, just because I am the other side of the argument. If you can't think for yourself, don't intervene in my debates.

I don't pay attention to what Lew says. My opinion is my own, and you post a picture of M'bappe ( whos never even been close to it ) when discussing Ballon d'or winners LOL

I guess you have some weird man crush on him.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
I reckon on a WORLD scale, football trumps basketball at least, therefore id have Messi or Ronaldo fighting it out with Bolt at the top.
Tennis achievements wont be recognized the same as football either tbf.
Lewis Hamilton is a good shout in the top 10 for sure.
I ranked them based on achievements and dominance in their sport rather than how popular their profession is. I’m sure if you complied a list of greatest athletes from the 80’s, Wayne Gretzky would be the undisputed number one even though only Canadians and Americans know about him.
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
I ranked them based on achievements and dominance in their sport rather than how popular their profession is. I’m sure if you complied a list of greatest athletes from the 80’s, Wayne Gretzky would be the undisputed number one even though only Canadians and Americans know about him.
I still believe what Messi and Ronaldo have done over their careers, trumps Lebron.
Just my opinion.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
I still believe what Messi and Ronaldo have done over their careers, trumps Lebron.
Just my opinion.
Honestly yeah there’s an argument to be made there. There’s an argument that the big 3, Messi and Ronaldo have all technically had better careers than LeBron.

What’s crazy is that until Messi was awarded his 6th Ballon D’Or a couple days ago, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Messi and Ronaldo all had 5 player of the year awards....that’s pretty insane
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
Serena is ranked #2 with 12 slam titles in this decade but Novak is ranked #15 with 15 slam titles.

That's 13 spots separation between the two.:eek:
 

kevaninho

Hall of Fame
Honestly yeah there’s an argument to be made there. There’s an argument that the big 3, Messi and Ronaldo have all technically had better careers than LeBron.

What’s crazy is that until Messi was awarded his 6th Ballon D’Or a couple days ago, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Messi and Ronaldo all had 5 player of the year awards....that’s pretty insane
So where does Lebron rank in basketball for you?
Obviously im not the biggest fan, but I do enjoy it from time to time.
Plus im aware how good he is, but what makes him special for you?
 
Serena is ranked #2 with 12 slam titles in this decade but Novak is ranked #15 with 15 slam titles.

That's 13 spots separation between the two.:eek:
It's just another example of disrespect towards Djokovic.

Another person who should be on the list is Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce.
 

TennisLBC

Professional
Serena is ranked #2 with 12 slam titles in this decade but Novak is ranked #15 with 15 slam titles.

That's 13 spots separation between the two.:eek:
Isn't the greater issue that Federer is ahead of Djokovic, yet Novak has lapped Roger 3 times? Since this thread is about the Big 3, and not Serena...just asking.
 
T

Tiki-Taka

Guest
I like your claim that he 'done more damage against the best English teams' without any actual facts.
I thought it was common knowledge by now. 25 goals or so against England's CL representatives plus all his other usual contributions, without ever playing in their league. So I hope I am not bold thinking he could do it against the Stokes of their world too.

Not that I think it matters either way. Englishmen have always liked to hype their league like it's a completely different sport compared to what we have here.
 
Here is my list:

1. Simone Biles
2. Katie Ledecky
3. Martin Fourcade
4. Marc Marquez
5. Mikaela Shiffrin
6. Lionel Messi
7. Usain Bolt
8. Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce
9. Kohei Uchimura
10. Marit Bjorgen
11. Katinka Hosszu
12. Lebron James
 

tonylg

Legend
Bolt and Phelps were dominant... until 2016/2017. LeBron dominated his sport every single moment of the decade. He is the only reasonable choice, unless you somehow excuse the fact that Bolt and Phelps were active in 20-30 percent less of the decade.
Does James play for the Toronto Raptors?
 

clout

Hall of Fame
What about Biles? She was far more dominant this decade than Phelps, and arguably more than Bolt. She is by far the best female gymnast ever now and did it all in the 2010s decade. Phelps actually was not dominant this decade at all. If it weren't for the greater value of the Olympics where Lochte underperformed in 2012 and was no longer a real contender in 2016, Lochte was probably even the best swimmer of the decade. Phelps was dominant from 2003-2009.
There’s no point in putting male and female athletes in the same ranking
 

tonylg

Legend
What about Biles? She was far more dominant this decade than Phelps, and arguably more than Bolt. She is by far the best female gymnast ever now and did it all in the 2010s decade. Phelps actually was not dominant this decade at all. If it weren't for the greater value of the Olympics where Lochte underperformed in 2012 and was no longer a real contender in 2016, Lochte was probably even the best swimmer of the decade. Phelps was dominant from 2003-2009.
Never heard of her, but accept everything you've said.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 

tonylg

Legend
James is the only athlete for whom you can build a strong case as the best in his sport in every single year of the decade.
Honest question, how many championships did he win? I don't know, but unless he was winning, it doesn't matter how many highlight reels be made.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 
C

Chadalina

Guest
Never heard of her, but accept everything you've said.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
She was given 6 TUE's in Brazil, apparently she has really bad ADD... Gets to take meds to help her focus.
 

The_Mental_Giant

Hall of Fame


Idk who is most dominant player subjectively, but I know who is statistically.
In terms of total points won Federer of the 00s and Nadal of the 10s are extremely close...
87.838 vs 85.249

It would be interesting to see how many total points in their career Nadal, Federer and Djokovic have won, wonder if this static is available somewhere... If someone post it I would be infinitely grateful.
 

The_Mental_Giant

Hall of Fame
Well in that case I agree but for this decade I would never put Phelps at the very top. Yes in the 2000s he would be #1 easily. For the 2010s I would have Bolt, Hirscher (Marcel Hirscher the Alpine Skiier), Brady, Uchimura (the gymnast), Djokovic, Hanyu (the figure skater, the first back to back Olympic singles gold medalist since Dick Button and holder of the 8 highest scores in history or something), LeBron James, Brownlee and Frodeno (triathletes), Mo Farah (long distance runner), Eaton (best decathlete in history), Drysdale and Synek (rowers), Sven Kramer (speed skater), Messi, Ronaldo, and possibly even Nadal all over him just off the top of my head.

Phelps was not dominant this decade. He was probably the best swimmer a grand 1 year of this decade- 2016. Lochte was in 2010 and 2011. Sun Yang was in 2013 and probably 2012. Either Le Clos or that Japanese swimmer was in 2014. Phelps barely swam at all in 2015 and retired after 2016. He make the 41 athletes list for the 2010s I guess, and that is it. Federer would not even make that on a proper list for the 2010s.
Why " even" Nadal? He won 8/10 RG and 4/10 us open, so he dominated in 2/4 Gs , plus 4/10 finals reached at AO, won a wimbledon, plus extra final and the SF of 2018 that was practically the real final. I have Djokovic top 4.. and Nadal somewhere between 6-8, tennis if far harder to dominate you are playing far more often and requires a lot of consistency... Plating 60+ matches a year with every match averaging 1:50 -2 hours It is about 110-120 hours of performance in a year at minimum... In an individual sport..
 

weakera

G.O.A.T.
Honest question, how many championships did he win? I don't know, but unless he was winning, it doesn't matter how many highlight reels be made.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
Your highlight reel remark is utter nonsense. He had as productive a decade as any player in history. And 3 titles, as many as any other player in the decade, along with eight consecutive NBA finals appearances. He transcended eras along the way, outlasting old rivals and remaining elite against a new generation of stars.
 
I don't pay attention to what Lew says. My opinion is my own, and you post a picture of M'bappe ( whos never even been close to it ) when discussing Ballon d'or winners LOL

I guess you have some weird man crush on him.
You don't have anything and your comments sound like they are coming from a kid that started watching football 10 years ago. You have no concept of what the number 10 represents in a football team, and the stats that you promised weren't presented (just vague talk about some public recognition).

 

tonylg

Legend
Your highlight reel remark is utter nonsense. He had as productive a decade as any player in history. And 3 titles, as many as any other player in the decade
In history? He won 3 championships, compared to Jordan's 6 in the 90s. Jordan topped the league in scoring 7 times in the 90s, James exactly ZERO in this decade.

No doubt James had a wonderful decade and is an amazing athlete, but being a loser 7 out of ten years and never topping the scoring doesn't make him even close to Jordan .. let alone Bolt, who decimated all comers in the most basic of human sports on a world stage rather than a niche game in a national league.

The whole world knows who Usain Bolt is, I played state level basketball as a kid and really don't know much about Labron James.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Bolt and Phelps were dominant... until 2016/2017. LeBron dominated his sport every single moment of the decade. He is the only reasonable choice, unless you somehow excuse the fact that Bolt and Phelps were active in 20-30 percent less of the decade.
LeBron was the best player from 2010-2013 and 2017-2018. KD was the best in 2014, Steph was the best in 2015-16, and now there’s an argument for several different players. So overall, he was the best player for 6/10 years this decade
 

clout

Hall of Fame
So where does Lebron rank in basketball for you?
Obviously im not the biggest fan, but I do enjoy it from time to time.
Plus im aware how good he is, but what makes him special for you?
I’ll be honest I am NOT a LeBron fan at all and there’s a huge smile on my face every time he loses. With that said, the dude just keeps producing at a consistently dominant level year in and year out. There’s hardly ever a drop in form with him, it’s pretty insane. My rationale behind the top 3 of Bolt, Phelps, and LeBron is because those 3 separated themselves from their peers greater than any other athlete has this decade (Messi/Ronaldo had each other, Djokovic/Nadal had each other, etc).
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Well in that case I agree but for this decade I would never put Phelps at the very top. Yes in the 2000s he would be #1 easily. For the 2010s I would have Bolt, Hirscher (Marcel Hirscher the Alpine Skiier), Brady, Uchimura (the gymnast), Djokovic, Hanyu (the figure skater, the first back to back Olympic singles gold medalist since Dick Button and holder of the 8 highest scores in history or something), LeBron James, Brownlee and Frodeno (triathletes), Mo Farah (long distance runner), Eaton (best decathlete in history), Drysdale and Synek (rowers), Sven Kramer (speed skater), Messi, Ronaldo, and possibly even Nadal all over him just off the top of my head.

Phelps was not dominant this decade. He was probably the best swimmer a grand 1 year of this decade- 2016. Lochte was in 2010 and 2011. Sun Yang was in 2013 and probably 2012. Either Le Clos or that Japanese swimmer was in 2014. Phelps barely swam at all in 2015 and retired after 2016. He make the 41 athletes list for the 2010s I guess, and that is it. Federer would not even make that on a proper list for the 2010s.
Phelps’ peak was in the 2000’s but whenever he was active, he virtually lapped the field.

He still managed to win 9 Olympic gold medals (12 medals in total), 4 WC golds (7 medals in total), 8 Pan Pacific golds (10 medals).

The only knock is that he took a hiatus for the majority of time between the 2 Olympics this decade. However, whenever he did play he owned his comp. Also, the Olympics are the holy grail for swimmers, and no male swimmer was as dominant in the 2012 and 2016 games as Phelps was.
 
IMO, the best male athletes of the decade are:

1. Usain Bolt (no one separated himself from the field more than this great man)

2. LeBron James (second most dominant decade by an individual player in nba history after MJ in the 90’s)

3. Michael Phelps (had it not been for his mini hiatus earlier in the decade, he could’ve been number one)

4. Novak Djokovic (most successful player in perhaps the greatest decade in tennis history; the Nole Slam was one of the decades best sporting achievements)

5. Lionel Messi (imo, he’s the football GOAT)

6. Cristiano Ronaldo (one of the GOATs of football)

7. Rafael Nadal (in any other decade prior to 2000, 2010’s Rafa would be the decades best tennis player)

8. Tom Brady (the most winningest QB of all time, and at 42, he never seems to go away)

9. Mike Trout (by far the youngest player on the list; Mike Trout at just 28 has dominanted this decade like very few before him)

10. Lewis Hamilton (certainly the greatest F1 driver of his gen, he may end up surpassing Jimmie Johnson’s records when it’s all said and done)

I’d like to hear everyone’s opinion on this list, just out of curiosity :)
Pretty good. Imo LeBron, bolt and phelps are all pretty close, all 3 have been ridiculously dominant in big international sports. Lebron had a few tough losses but was always close while phelps and bolt didn't quite finish the decade so overall I think they are pretty close.

Novak would have been close if he didn't have those injury issue and the unnecessary slam losses especially against stan in the 15 to 17 period.
 

weakera

G.O.A.T.
LeBron was the best player from 2010-2013 and 2017-2018. KD was the best in 2014, Steph was the best in 2015-16, and now there’s an argument for several different players. So overall, he was the best player for 6/10 years this decade
You can make the case that he was the best player/MVP in every single season of the decade. That's the bottom line based on the value added to his teams which fall into oblivion whenever he leaves them. Writers got tired of handing him MVP, but he was all first team 9/10 years and missed in the 10th because of his groin injury.

In history? He won 3 championships, compared to Jordan's 6 in the 90s. Jordan topped the league in scoring 7 times in the 90s, James exactly ZERO in this decade.

No doubt James had a wonderful decade and is an amazing athlete, but being a loser 7 out of ten years and never topping the scoring doesn't make him even close to Jordan .. let alone Bolt, who decimated all comers in the most basic of human sports on a world stage rather than a niche game in a national league.

The whole world knows who Usain Bolt is, I played state level basketball as a kid and really don't know much about Labron James.

Measuring the value of a player in scoring titles and rings speaks to you being very powerfully stupid, or ignorant regarding the game of basketball. And I'll just leave this here, regarding your completely idiotic assertion that Bolt is more famous than LeBron outside of some third world pockets:

 

ForumMember

Hall of Fame
I mean after seeing the order in which they put Djokovic, Nadal and Federer, did article deserve this much discussion? But I guess article was just a trigger of this interesting discussion.
 

tonylg

Legend
You can make the case that he was the best player/MVP in every single season of the decade. That's the bottom line based on the value added to his teams which fall into oblivion whenever he leaves them. Writers got tired of handing him MVP, but he was all first team 9/10 years and missed in the 10th because of his groin injury.




Measuring the value of a player in scoring titles and rings speaks to you being very powerfully stupid, or ignorant regarding the game of basketball. And I'll just leave this here, regarding your completely idiotic assertion that Bolt is more famous than LeBron outside of some third world pockets:

Person says his hero was MVP every season, but not officially because they just got tired of awarding to him and uses Filipino click farm data to support his assertions, while calling someone else powerfully stupid.

That's pure gold.
 
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