My top 5 athletes of the last decade. Not easy coming up with a list of the best of the best. I chose one from basketball, baseball, football, boxing and tennis.
1. Lebron James— NBA Basketball Player, Miami Heat
Eleven year player for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat. According to NBA.com Lebron James Stats He is a Two-time NBA Champion and 4-time NBA MVP. Most acknowledge that his addition led to these successes. Will always be negatively connected to “The Decision”, as chronicled here by Yahoo.com sports blog writer Dan Devine in his article, “LeBron James would make ‘Decision’ differently, somehow” which some say was handled by a less mature man. Married with two children and living in the Biscayne Bay area of Miami. His career has transcended basketball as evidenced by his Nike endorsement as well as being a spokesperson for other major brands like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Samsung as reported here by Forbes.com, “LeBron James’ Endorsements Breakdown: By The Numbers”. He has been ranked as one of the most influential athletes throughout his career and was voted the most popular player in the NBA in 2013.
2. Derek Jeter— Shortstop, New York Yankees
According to ESPN Derek Jeter Stats, The Yankee Captain is the all time leader in hits, games played, stolen bases, and at bats. His awards and records are too many too list. Announced his planned retirement in the preseason of 2014, Derek is enjoying his final season, the 19th, dubbed “the Farewell tour.” A future unanimous, first ballot, Hall of Fame inductee, Derek will be the gold standard, defining what it means to be a Yankee. Playing in the most intense media market in sports, Derek has always remained above the negative. Derek Jeter epitomizes what it means for an athlete to be a role model. Except for two years, Derek and the New York Yankees have advanced to the postseason winning seven AL Championships and 5 World Series, referenced by the Encyclopedia of players at Baseball-Reference.com. Derek will always be known as Mr. November or Captain Clutch because of his epic postseason performances. One day, the #2 jersey will be retired from service and a plague will be erected in center field in Monument Park next to the other Yankee Greats.
3. Tom Brady— Quarterback, New England Patriots
Brady took over for an injured Drew Bledsoe in the 2001 season and never looked back. NFL.com career stats: Elected to 9 Pro Bowls, 3-time Super Bowl Champion, and 2-time Super Bowl MVP, Tom has become the benchmark for judging a Quarterback in the NFL. The Patriots and Brady have made the playoffs all but two years since he took the starting QB job. Brady continues to amaze and there is no telling how long he can continue.
4. Floyd “Pretty Boy” Mayweather Jr.— Professional Boxer
Born into the boxing world, Floyd was destined to be the Champion and today, most experts agree he is the “pound for pound” greatest fighter of all time. Throughout his 18 year career, Floyd remains UNDEFEATED and is the lineal champion in three different weight classes. In 2013, Mayweather was the highest paid athlete, according to Sports Illustrated and reported by ESPN in the entire sports world. Still fighting today his record is an unbelievable, 45 wins, 0 losses with 26 Knockouts, compiled by Statistic brain.
5. Serena Williams— Professional Tennis Player
Serena played her first professional match at age 14 in 1995. That match was the start of a hall of fame career and a conversation that has to include her amongst the greatest female tennis players of all time. In 19 professional years, she has won 32 Major Titles as per ESPN.com Serena Williams stats, $50 million in prize money reported by Women’s Tennis Association, and most recent player to hold all four Grand Slam singles titles simultaneously archived by Tennis-X. She has won four Olympic medals and is currently ranked #1 in the world which is also a record for the oldest person holding that ranking reports Tennis Sports Iluustrated. Battling injury and extreme depression throughout her career, it only enhances her accomplishments. She is a true champion that all can admire because of her dedication and refusal to give up. She is the entire package; Brains, beauty, and Strength, and a great role model for anyone.
As reported in the article by Success.com, “Game,Set and Match”, off the court, Serena is an accomplished fashion designer with her own collection called Signature Statement. She is active in charitable ventures with a focus on at-risk youth. She is also part owner of the Miami Dolphins, an NFL franchise.