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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [Shambolic] [ In reply to ]
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It would be hard not to give this title to Kelly Slater.//

He made my list, Phelps did not. As record breaking and dominant as Phelps was, I just dont consider swimming enough of an all round sport. Surfing on the other hand requires many more facets of the human body, not just endurance and speed. That's why Thorpe was my top pick, besides the 10 sports of the decathlon, the 5 sports of the pentathlon, he played pro baseball, basketball, and football.


I figure a triathlete ought to be in the top 10, pretty versatile sport with a heavy emphasis on endurance. IT is such a hard topic talking about greatest athletes, everyone comes with their own bias and what constitutes greatness, and which sports deserve higher point values. But I think we can all agree that Serena is not the greatest athlete, that seems like a no brainer...(-;
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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [imsparticus] [ In reply to ]
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imsparticus wrote:
It bothers me for the same reason fake news bothers me (pink font - kinda/sorta). You can’t be the greatest athlete of all time if there are hundreds, if not thousands, of humans who can beat you at your own sport.

Andres wrote:
I didn't read your whole post, I didn't need to. Why does it bother you if Nike - or anyone - makes that claim? I hope you never get one of those world's greatest dad or mum mugs I feel for the response your poor kid might get.

Ridiculous. Paula Newby-Fraser is one of the greatest triathletes of all time. Please try to claim otherwise. Men and women compete in different divisions for a reason.
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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [Jackets] [ In reply to ]
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I think you can't possibly compare athletes who play a team sport to athletes who compete individually, has to be two different categories for me. //

I agree, and each category has to have two more categories, men and women. My list is from the individual sport category, mens only...
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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [imsparticus] [ In reply to ]
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Even as far as females go, Katie Ledecky is better at her sport than Serena at hers. In fact, Katie might be the greatest ever, mens or womens in any sport.






Take a short break from ST and read my blog:
http://tri-banter.blogspot.com/
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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [Tom_hampton] [ In reply to ]
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Tom_hampton wrote:
andy12 wrote:
I think she has a respectable argument for greatest female athlete. Of course those arguments are fairly pointless.


Serena doesn't lead ANY category of wins in women's tennis, and she isnt even listed in some categories (she's never completed the grand slam for instance).

Margaret Court is on every list and is #1 on three of them (more than any other player):
Most grand slam singles wins, most titles at a si.gle tournament, most consecutive tournament titles.

Serena does not dominate her sport the way that Margaret Court did, and she doesn't even compare to the dominance of people like Gretzky, Phelps, Ali, et al... Who completely changed the standard by which others are judged.

I agree with you Tom. There is often a proximity bias to the present which is hard to overcome and remain objective.

My own list would have to start with the most dominant people in their sport before I started to ruminate about best ever...

Gretsky (?Orr-I'm still a Bawston fan!...)
Phelps (was Spitz-not anymore)
some squash player that I can't remember who I think never lost or something like that
Woods (?Nicholas)
Bolt, Owens-same but different
Marciano, Ali, Lewis (although Tyson changed the game too)
Court (or McKay-not likely Serena, but at least I've seen her in person)
Jordan (?Chamberlain, James-room for arguments...)
Federer
Montana to Rice --I just think it should be a combination, like it was IRL (? Brown, Brady, LT)
Ruth>Cobb
Slater
Bradman
Pele, Maradona (?Ronaldo-man my son had me watch so many shots of his on youtube)
Schumacker, Petty

Armstrong-NOT
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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [monty] [ In reply to ]
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Were you born in the 1800s?!
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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [MrRabbit] [ In reply to ]
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Yes they do compete in different divisions for a reason, because the best women tennis players could not compete with the top men. Sorry that upsets you. PNF is not faster or a better athlete than Jan Frodeno because she won more Kona titles. What determines who is the best triathlete? Is it not speed? So how is PNF a better triathlete than someone who can beat her by close to an hour?

MrRabbit wrote:
imsparticus wrote:
It bothers me for the same reason fake news bothers me (pink font - kinda/sorta). You can’t be the greatest athlete of all time if there are hundreds, if not thousands, of humans who can beat you at your own sport.

Andres wrote:
I didn't read your whole post, I didn't need to. Why does it bother you if Nike - or anyone - makes that claim? I hope you never get one of those world's greatest dad or mum mugs I feel for the response your poor kid might get.

Ridiculous. Paula Newby-Fraser is one of the greatest triathletes of all time. Please try to claim otherwise. Men and women compete in different divisions for a reason.
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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [imsparticus] [ In reply to ]
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imsparticus wrote:

Paula Newby-Fraser is one of the greatest triathletes of all time.


notice I didn't offer a suggestion for the greatest triathlete...
PNF is on the woman's list, for sure, but how about Chrissie-she's my choice, just sayin'


men....hmmm....too many-Allen? but gotta consider Alexander, Scott-also McCormack, Gomez, Brownlee, Frodo
Last edited by: dtoce: Sep 6, 18 17:50
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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [dtoce] [ In reply to ]
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dtoce wrote:
Tom_hampton wrote:
andy12 wrote:
I think she has a respectable argument for greatest female athlete. Of course those arguments are fairly pointless.


Serena doesn't lead ANY category of wins in women's tennis, and she isnt even listed in some categories (she's never completed the grand slam for instance).

Margaret Court is on every list and is #1 on three of them (more than any other player):
Most grand slam singles wins, most titles at a si.gle tournament, most consecutive tournament titles.

Serena does not dominate her sport the way that Margaret Court did, and she doesn't even compare to the dominance of people like Gretzky, Phelps, Ali, et al... Who completely changed the standard by which others are judged.


I agree with you Tom. There is often a proximity bias to the present which is hard to overcome and remain objective.

My own list would have to start with the most dominant people in their sport before I started to ruminate about best ever...

Gretsky (?Orr-I'm still a Bawston fan!...)
Phelps (was Spitz-not anymore)
some squash player that I can't remember who I think never lost or something like that
Woods (?Nicholas)
Bolt, Owens-same but different
Marciano, Ali, Lewis (although Tyson changed the game too)
Court (or McKay-not likely Serena, but at least I've seen her in person)
Jordan (?Chamberlain, James-room for arguments...)
Federer
Montana to Rice --I just think it should be a combination, like it was IRL (? Brown, Brady, LT)
Ruth>Cobb
Slater
Bradman
Pele, Maradona (?Ronaldo-man my son had me watch so many shots of his on youtube)
Schumacker, Petty

Armstrong-NOT


So you bring up an interesting point. Jordan in my opinion is the best basketball player of all time. Yet on my list he is 2nd behind Lebron as the greatest athlete of all time. Jordan's time in baseball was pretty damning to his GOAT athlete.

Someone like Deion Sanders or Bo Jackson have compelling arguments. Sanders was one of the best cover corners to play football and was a pretty good at baseball. Bo was Bo. Amazing but a flash in the pan.

This is why I love this conversation.
Last edited by: EastonZ16: Sep 6, 18 17:48
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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [EastonZ16] [ In reply to ]
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That's because the term athlete must be more encompassing than not. I won't include a checkers champion on the list-as that 'sport' isn't athletic, but other sports are more inherently athletic.

What sport is most athletic?

Now that's a question...

and to be able to dominate in one sport and be awfully awesome in another is unique-and is why people like Bo and Deion make the list
(*I still remember that night that Bo ran back the ball for a TD and ran right out of the stadium-I believe it was on MNF-just took my breath away at the time)

http://www.nfl.com/...himself-from-scoring
Last edited by: dtoce: Sep 6, 18 18:03
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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [dtoce] [ In reply to ]
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dtoce wrote:
That's because the term athlete must be more encompassing than not. I won't include a checkers champion on the list-as that 'sport' isn't athletic, but other sports are more inherently athletic.

What sport is most athletic?

Now that's a question...

and to be able to dominate in one sport and be awfully awesome in another is unique-and is why people like Bo and Deion make the list

You are exactly right about the term athlete. I don't think there is a correct answer to who is the greatest of all time. But, for me, it sure is fun to talk about.

What sport is the most athletic. Another can of worms!
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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [imsparticus] [ In reply to ]
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1. Jim Thorp
2. Jim Brown
3. Bo Jackson

Then a long way to the next person...
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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [imsparticus] [ In reply to ]
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It's not worth getting butthurt over.

It's by its nature a statement and question merely for entertainment value. It's like asking who the great writer is. Or greatest musician. Greatest sports car. Greatest internet troll.

They aren't really statements intended to establish finality, but to provoke a response and a discussion. Which it did both with you.
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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [EastonZ16] [ In reply to ]
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Just some food for thought. Holy smokes!!! These guys are athletes and crazy.

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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [EastonZ16] [ In reply to ]
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With modern “athletes” we are seeing achievements from great technicians.

Sports science has come along way; and today’s athletes make choices or choices are made for them to specialize in a sport at a very early age.

When I think of some one who would be called the greatest athlete, I think of someone who has an incredible combination of strength, speed and coordination. They could be successful at almost any sport. They probably wouldn’t be the best at any one sport.

To me it’s hard to gauge how a modern athlete slots in on that basis.
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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [SBRinSD] [ In reply to ]
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When I think of some one who would be called the greatest athlete, I think of someone who has an incredible combination of strength, speed and coordination. They could be successful at almost any sport. They probably wouldn’t be the best at any one sport. //

You just described Jim Thorpe. Decathlon, pentathlon, high jump, long jump(separate events he competed in from the multi ones) pro football(hall of fame)Pro baseball, and pro basketball. He also did a couple other sports, which people said he never trained for!! Said he would just show up and win. For a guy like him with his background, I would say he gets the all round greatest athlete award.


I wonder if he ever swam or rode a bike???


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Thorpe
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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [monty] [ In reply to ]
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monty wrote:
Greatest female tennis player of all time, perhaps and at least in the running..

Not even close to the greatest tennis player(including men)

And not even on the fist 10 pages of greatest athletes of all time, unless the bar for measuring is you have a vagina and have to play tennis..

She might be on the front page near the bottom, of highest paid athletes though, not sure how much she makes in comparison to top men in other sports...

I think when you decide on greatest athlete of all time, you just compare women against women and men vs men. Obviously you cannot compare men vs women even if they play the same sport. If I use that criteria, I'd put Serena right up there.

Here is a sanity check comparing men and women grand slam totals (not men playing against women, just each sex vs their peers). Here is what you see after I entered names into google


Grand Slams Wins

  • Serena Williams 23
  • Steffi Graf 22
  • Federer 20
  • Chris Evert 18
  • Navratilova 18
  • Nadal 17
  • Sampras 14
  • Djokovic 13
  • Rod Laver 11
  • Bjorn Borg 11
  • Monica Seles 9
  • Connors 8
  • Becker 6
  • McEnroe 7
  • Venus Williams 7
  • Hingis 5

Just based on this, Serena is the best tennis pro of all time at least in my lifetime of half a centure. I know a lot of men will jump in and say depth of field is a greater on the men's side, but that's because women across the board have less access to sport, so the women who win are the best of the half the world of women who actually make it to pro tennis.

Now how does Serena compare to say Wayne Gretzky, Jim Brown, Pele, Tom Brady, Don Bradman, Ronaldo, Alberto Tomba, Jean Cluade Killy, Eric Heiden, Sanchin Tendulkar, Lebron James, Usein Bolt, FloJo, Michael Phelps, Bjorne Dahlie, Mark Spitz, Diego Maradona/George Best (can I include them here...probably not), Carl Lewis, Jesse Owens, Emil Zatopek, Lasse Viren, Lance/Merckx/Hinault (gallery of dopers, but hey, everyone on this list is likely well enhanced with what they can get away with anyway)...I'd have no idea who is the greatest among all of those....I could pick any of them and make an arguement for any of them.
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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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Grand Slams Wins

Serena Williams 23
Steffi Graf 22
Federer 20

Margaret Court won 24 individual Grand Slams, also 19 doubles and 21 mixed doubles (a total of 64 Grand Slams).
Last edited by: Sanuk: Sep 6, 18 19:13
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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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Dev-

Again you leave off margaret court. 24 slam wins. She also is only one of three women to complete the grand slam... Which Serena has NOT done.

Margaret also won't the Australian open 11 times. More than any other tennis player repeatedly won any single tournament. Serena 7.

Margaret also won more consecutive slam events than any other player with 6. Serena 4.

Margaret is 3rd all time for number of consecutive years with a slam title at 7. Serena is not in the top 5.

They are tied with 2 Years in which they each won 3 of 4 slams.

The only category where Serena outdid margaret is the number of times they each one a tournement without dropping a single set: Serena =6, margeret =3.

She did all that at a time when being a woman tennis player was disparaged and self supported. But, I assume you know that history.

Sorry... Margaret Court takes the title of greatest woman tennis player. Besides, I'd probably put Navratilova over Serena also.
Last edited by: Tom_hampton: Sep 6, 18 19:29
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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [Tom_hampton] [ In reply to ]
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Well 24>23 so Margaret takes it. Sorry for leaving that out. Serena has work to do. I hope she can take it to number 1. Serena gets another shot this weekend now that she advanced to the finals. Gotta like this young girl Naomi Osaka who plays Serena in the finals....she' on TV now and asked for a message to Serena and answers, "I love you".

Regardless, this weekend will be awesome.
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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [FatandSlow] [ In reply to ]
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FatandSlow wrote:
1. Jim Thorp
2. Jim Brown
3. Bo Jackson

Then a long way to the next person...

I would reverse that order. Bo did things in both sports that you simply weren't supposed to be able to do. He was a true freak of nature. Due to shoddy camera work from the 80's you can't see it all, but I've heard George Brett tell the story. Flat footed, from the warning track, on the fly and on the money. This was also his second best professional sport.


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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [TulkasTri] [ In reply to ]
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TulkasTri wrote:
EastonZ16 wrote:
I like this topic. Who would be your top 5 athletes of all time? Use your own criteria.

1. Lebron James
2. Michael Jordan
3. Walter Payton
4. Bo Jackson
5. Pele

That’s mine.

1.- Jordan
2.- Joe Montana
3.- Phelps
4.- Usain Bolt
5.- Lionel Sanders

Odd you put the second best QB as number 2 and left the GOAT off your list completely.


--Chris
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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [chriselam] [ In reply to ]
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I think Erin Baker should deserve a mention

Tony Hawk too
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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [chriskal] [ In reply to ]
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Hard to argue, either way. Three amazing athletes. The anecdotes are certainly there for Mr. Jackson. Longevity is the holdback for me. Mr. Thorp did everything well. I have Mr. Brown 2nd for his lacrosse proficiency, his mental capacity to keep going when it looked like he was done and his willingness to walk away while at the top.
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Re: What's with all the talk about Serena Williams being the greatest athlete of all time? [monty] [ In reply to ]
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monty wrote:
It would be hard not to give this title to Kelly Slater.//

He made my list, Phelps did not. As record breaking and dominant as Phelps was, I just dont consider swimming enough of an all round sport. Surfing on the other hand requires many more facets of the human body, not just endurance and speed. That's why Thorpe was my top pick, besides the 10 sports of the decathlon, the 5 sports of the pentathlon, he played pro baseball, basketball, and football.
I figure a triathlete ought to be in the top 10, pretty versatile sport with a heavy emphasis on endurance. IT is such a hard topic talking about greatest athletes, everyone comes with their own bias and what constitutes greatness, and which sports deserve higher point values. But I think we can all agree that Serena is not the greatest athlete, that seems like a no brainer...(-;

To quote McEnroe (since this started with tennis:)), "you can not be serious" about Kelly Slater. I mean, AFAIK, surfing is even more of a fringe sport than triathlon, and surfing has nowhere near as many competitors worldwide as swimming. I had never even heard of Slater until you mentioned him, whereas virtually everyone in the First and Second Worlds have heard of Phelps.


"Anyone can be who they want to be IF they have the HUNGER and the DRIVE."
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