In a recent survey conducted at the 2023 Shanghai Masters, tennis players were asked to name their choice for the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) outside of their own sport. The results revealed that American basketball legend Michael Jordan emerged as the leading choice, showcasing the strong influence of the USA in global sports.
Tennis Players Choose Michael Jordan as the GOAT Outside of Tennis, Sparking Debate
The NBA, renowned as one of the most popular sports leagues worldwide, has captivated the attention of many tennis players who are avid basketball fans. Alongside Jordan, the late NBA icon Kobe Bryant was also mentioned as a prominent GOAT candidate. Furthermore, star athletes like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Maradona, and Tiger Woods were among the names put forward, each with their own compelling case for the prestigious title.
Interesting they mostly choose jordan when he doesn’t have the records… but when asked in tennis it’s only about records.
— Edmond Dantes (@BogdanRMCF) October 15, 2023
Interestingly, Michael Jordan stood out as the most frequently selected athlete, receiving mentions from four different tennis players. Stefanos Tsitsipas, Tommy Paul, Ben Shelton, and Hubert Hurkacz all chose the six-time NBA champion. Messi was the second most mentioned athlete, supported by Daniil Medvedev (who also picked Ronaldo) and Argentine Diego Schwartzman.
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Michael Jordan’s prominence as the leading choice for the GOAT sparked a division of opinions on social media. While some fans agreed with the selection, others expressed their disagreement, arguing that other athletes have a stronger claim to the title than the American basketball legend.
There is no doubt that Michael Jordan revolutionized not only basketball but also the world of sports. His groundbreaking endorsement deal with Nike in 1984, known as ‘Air Jordan,’ marked the first time a sportsperson became a brand in the market, similar to film or TV stars. The deal, worth $2.5 million for five years, set a world record at that time. Jordan’s influence extended beyond business, as his iconic Slam Dunk forever transformed the way basketball is played. He undoubtedly enjoyed immense popularity as one of the most renowned athletes globally.
While Michael Jordan’s selection as the GOAT by tennis players is noteworthy, it remains a subject of ongoing debate. Given the universal popularity and following of soccer as a sport, legends like Pele, Maradona, Messi, and Ronaldo also have strong claims to the GOAT title. Ultimately, the debate over the GOAT across sports continues to captivate fans and ignite passionate discussions worldwide.