Could Be the Best _______ Ever

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Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by mister d » Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:41 pm

Spinoff from the McDavid / Bapo discussion because its fun. Players from your lifetime that at one point could have reasonably projected as the best ever at their position or sport.
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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by A_B » Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:46 pm

My first thought is Ken Griffey Jr.
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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by Pruitt » Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:55 pm

Do you mean guys who didn't pan out for whatever reason?

First one comes to mind is Eric Lindros.

Dwight Gooden

Bo Jackson
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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by brian » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:05 pm

Barry Sanders
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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by wlu_lax6 » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:05 pm

Pruitt wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:55 pm
Do you mean guys who didn't pan out for whatever reason?

First one comes to mind is Eric Lindros.

Dwight Gooden

Bo Jackson
In this light...Travis Roy

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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by Joe K » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:05 pm

Pruitt wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:55 pm
Do you mean guys who didn't pan out for whatever reason?

First one comes to mind is Eric Lindros.

Dwight Gooden

Bo Jackson
I would say that with a few possible exceptions (like NHL/Gretzky) the best players of the last 20 years in any given sport have a strong argument for being the best ever, period. So squandered potential/injury what-ifs might be the more interesting hypothetical. Josh Gordon, Todd Gurley and Andrew Luck come to mind for NFL; Josh Hamilton, Lincecum and Jose Fernandez for MLB; not sure anyone really fits that bill for NBA — Brandon Roy was really good but not on the all-time legend trajectory.

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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by Ryan » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:07 pm

Nomar
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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by EdRomero » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:09 pm

wlu_lax6 wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:05 pm
Pruitt wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:55 pm
Do you mean guys who didn't pan out for whatever reason?

First one comes to mind is Eric Lindros.

Dwight Gooden

Bo Jackson
In this light...Travis Roy
I was thinking that but didn't trust my BU-biased hockey memories

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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by EdRomero » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:11 pm

Joe K wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:05 pm
Pruitt wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:55 pm
Do you mean guys who didn't pan out for whatever reason?

First one comes to mind is Eric Lindros.

Dwight Gooden

Bo Jackson
I would say that with a few possible exceptions (like NHL/Gretzky) the best players of the last 20 years in any given sport have a strong argument for being the best ever, period. So squandered potential/injury what-ifs might be the more interesting hypothetical. Josh Gordon, Todd Gurley and Andrew Luck come to mind for NFL; Josh Hamilton, Lincecum and Jose Fernandez for MLB; not sure anyone really fits that bill for NBA — Brandon Roy was really good but not on the all-time legend trajectory.
A Len Bias game was on ESPN last night. Now I'm getting depressed.

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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by wlu_lax6 » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:16 pm

EdRomero wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:11 pm
Joe K wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:05 pm
Pruitt wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:55 pm
Do you mean guys who didn't pan out for whatever reason?

First one comes to mind is Eric Lindros.

Dwight Gooden

Bo Jackson
I would say that with a few possible exceptions (like NHL/Gretzky) the best players of the last 20 years in any given sport have a strong argument for being the best ever, period. So squandered potential/injury what-ifs might be the more interesting hypothetical. Josh Gordon, Todd Gurley and Andrew Luck come to mind for NFL; Josh Hamilton, Lincecum and Jose Fernandez for MLB; not sure anyone really fits that bill for NBA — Brandon Roy was really good but not on the all-time legend trajectory.
A Len Bias game was on ESPN last night. Now I'm getting depressed.
I was pretty young when Len Bias died. I really had never watched a full game. So I turned it on last night. Man UNC should have won that one. If UNC could get the ball to Matt D., nobody was stopping him. Also Wolf was having a great game. But wow was Bias good that night. The under rim reverse was a killer. Also watching Lefty coach/work the refs was fun.

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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by EdRomero » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:16 pm

Right now the focus of this thread are injuries and tragedies, but what about players who ended up with the wrong team or coach..or players who played in the wrong era for their skill set?

Jermaine O'Neal sat on the bench for his first 5 years, Antoine Walker was completely messed up by Pitino..They would never be the best ever but their careers could have been so much better.

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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by Pruitt » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:22 pm

I remember the Gretzky hype from the time he was in junior hockey.

Similarly, Lemieux, Lafontaine and Lindros were hyped to the skies before the ever hit the NHL. (I am old...)
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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by DaveInSeattle » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:24 pm

He wouldn't have been the 'best ever', but its a damn shame that Brandon Roy's knees disintegrated on him.

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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by rass » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:25 pm

A twist on this would be athletes who came up with the pressure of being recognized as a "could be the best..." and with little argument met expectations.

LeBron
Crosby
Tiger

Maybe P. Manning?

Is there a baseball player who came into the majors with at that level and is now a consensus top 10 (at minimum) all-time great?
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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by brian » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:26 pm

rass wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:25 pm
Is there a baseball player who came into the majors with at that level and is now a consensus top 10 (at minimum) all-time great?
Griffey Jr. probably closest in our lifetimes.
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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by EdRomero » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:26 pm

rass wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:25 pm
A twist on this would be athletes who came up with the pressure of being recognized as a "could be the best..." and with little argument met expectations.

LeBron
Crosby
Tiger

Maybe P. Manning?

Is there a baseball player who came into the majors with at that level and is now a consensus top 10 (at minimum) all-time great?
Mike Trout

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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by L-Jam3 » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:28 pm

I remember the 2004 SI Olympic preview predicted that a then-20 year old Michael Phelps was going to go for 8 golds. His first event, or maybe two, he "only" earned bronze... and then he ripped off 6 straight golds.
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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by mister d » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:43 pm

brian wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:26 pm
rass wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:25 pm
Is there a baseball player who came into the majors with at that level and is now a consensus top 10 (at minimum) all-time great?
Griffey Jr. probably closest in our lifetimes.
Definitely the most hyped prospect of ours but fell short on injuries (and probably overall anyway). Baseball-wise, Gooden immediately came to my mind too given his first two seasons. Bonds probably is the greatest hitter but his career arc is so weird it feels like he's an outlier. Trout is just fucking insane, he's already 39th all-time for fangraphs oWAR and his per PA rate is actually higher than Bonds. If he "only" doubles up from here, he's 5th all-time offensive player and two ahead of him are from the pre-Jackie era.
rass wrote:
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I'm definitely known as "the boy who cried penis" in town.

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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by Diamond » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:49 pm

mister d wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:43 pm
brian wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:26 pm
rass wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:25 pm
Is there a baseball player who came into the majors with at that level and is now a consensus top 10 (at minimum) all-time great?
Griffey Jr. probably closest in our lifetimes.
Definitely the most hyped prospect of ours but fell short on injuries (and probably overall anyway). Baseball-wise, Gooden immediately came to my mind too given his first two seasons. Bonds probably is the greatest hitter but his career arc is so weird it feels like he's an outlier. Trout is just fucking insane, he's already 39th all-time for fangraphs oWAR and his per PA rate is actually higher than Bonds. If he "only" doubles up from here, he's 5th all-time offensive player and two ahead of him are from the pre-Jackie era.
The hype when Barry Bonds first came up was really intense.

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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by Giff » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:50 pm

Earl Campbell
Muh.

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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by mister d » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:53 pm

Diamond wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:49 pm
The hype when Barry Bonds first came up was really intense.
Was it? Those would have been my earliest baseball years but I thought he was a legit top prospect and all, but he didn't go #1 and that was as a college player.
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Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:20 am
I'm definitely known as "the boy who cried penis" in town.

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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by Pruitt » Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:22 pm

Giff wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:50 pm
Earl Campbell
Yeah - but in my mind, he's definitely one of the top 5 RBs ever. Never been anyone quite like him.
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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by wlu_lax6 » Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:26 pm

Jim Thorpe?
Dan O'Brien?
Roy Jones (Olympic boxer)

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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by Pruitt » Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:29 pm

Sugar Ray Leonard
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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by The Sybian » Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:39 pm

Eric Lindros was the first name to come to mind. Mario Lemeiux couldn't been the greatest if it wasn't for injuries and cancer.

Freddy Adu was way over hyped, but in reality, he was just early to develop physically, so his talents leveled out.

What about Brien Taylor? I grew up around Yankee fans, and he was supposed to be the greatest pitcher of all time!
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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by mister d » Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:21 pm

The Sybian wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:39 pm
What about Brien Taylor? I grew up around Yankee fans, and he was supposed to be the greatest pitcher of all time!
He was 1-1, but if you look at his (very underage) AA season before the injury, its not like he was setting records.

(The Yankees having like a dozen hitters and a reliever better than their greatest all-time starting pitcher is pretty weird, even given the short porch.)
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I'm definitely known as "the boy who cried penis" in town.

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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by wlu_lax6 » Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:35 pm

The Sybian wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:39 pm
Freddy Adu was way over hyped, but in reality, he was just early to develop physically, so his talents leveled out.
For soccer, John O'Brien was going places and then just disappeared.

Does Tiger count. Without his injury and personal problems he was chasing Jack

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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by mister d » Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:39 pm

He's not the winningest, but I thought he was recognized as the greatest golfer of all-time, no?
rass wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:20 am
I'm definitely known as "the boy who cried penis" in town.

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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by A_B » Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:41 pm

Guys, just give him a couple of years to make it official.
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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by Shirley » Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:14 pm

Yeah, at worst, Tiger is #2. That's pretty incredible, given his hype.

I watched part of that Len Bias game. Around these parts, it's just known as The Len Bias Game, because that Carolina team was so good and he was so great in that game. My three observations from that game:
1. Bias was really fucking good. He was a no-doubt NBA All-Star level player at worst.
2. That Carolina team was really good and fun to watch.
3. Kenny Smith was fast as hell. His nickname, "The Jet," was well-earned. If he hadn't gotten hurt late in the year, that team was an overwhelming favorite to win a title.
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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by Gunpowder » Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:55 am

wlu_lax6 wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:26 pm
Jim Thorpe?
Dan O'Brien?
Roy Jones (Olympic boxer)
Yeah, we all remember sitting around watching Jim Thorpe play
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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by mister d » Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:03 am

Its wlu_lax, he probably meant Jim Thome.
rass wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:20 am
I'm definitely known as "the boy who cried penis" in town.

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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by wlu_lax6 » Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:08 am

Fair but not sure some of us can say they really watched Earl C and Len Bias.

How about Gregg Olson. He was a nightmare for batters until he trashed his arm.

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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by Giff » Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:16 am

I think I'm about the average age here and I definitely watched both. Earl is probably the first athlete I knew by name and I was gutted by Len Bias dying. It's why I've never tried coke!
Muh.

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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by Nonlinear FC » Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:29 am

Giff wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:16 am
I think I'm about the average age here and I definitely watched both. Earl is probably the first athlete I knew by name and I was gutted by Len Bias dying. It's why I've never tried coke!
Me too re: coke.

I was also very broke through college and didn't run with a crowd where it was "a thing."

But I could've tried it if I really wanted to, pretty easy to find round here.
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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by Pruitt » Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:30 am

A guy who was really, really good but who wouldn't be in the conversation for "best ever" but whose career was cut short was Billy Sims.
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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by Giff » Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:30 am

I've only been around it a small handful of times and it's made me very uncomfortable.
Muh.

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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by Joe K » Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:38 am

Giff wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:30 am
I've only been around it a small handful of times and it's made me very uncomfortable.
The first time I saw a casual friend do coke in front of me he decided a bit later in the evening that it was a good idea to blast me with a fire extinguisher from close range. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for the drug.

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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by Steve of phpBB » Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:50 am

For me the closest example has to be Mark Prior.

Or, perhaps "Mark Prior and Kerry Wood could be the best starting duo ever."
And his one problem is he didn’t go to Russia that night because he had extracurricular activities, and they froze to death.

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Re: Could Be the Best _______ Ever

Post by The Sybian » Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:55 am

Giff wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:30 am
I've only been around it a small handful of times and it's made me very uncomfortable.
Completely agree, but you do a line and get over. IMO, you aren't missing much. I can see how people get hooked, but just not for me.
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