This week I thought I’d pose a simple question to my friends and see where they’d take it. We’ve all be luckily enough to see some great athletes in our lifetimes, but I asked my friends to pick the most dominant athletes they’ve ever seen.

Fan Responses

“Who is the most dominant athlete you’ve ever seen?”

“As much as I hate to say it I’m gonna have to say Lebron. He makes whatever team he is on, really really good and I feel like we haven’t really seen that from any other athlete. The first two that came to mind were LeBron and Brady but I feel like Lebron is just on a another level compared to Brady.”–@brianspolarich 

“Michael Phelps to me has been the most dominant. He wins nearly every race he has been in since his Olympic career began. He has not only the most Olympic medals of any athlete but also the most records. In all the years of watching sports, Michael Phelps is the most dominant to me.”-@sruskan800

“My girl Serena Williams or Michael Phelps.”–@Federico8888

“I’d have to say LeBron James. At least in my lifetime, I’ve never seen anyone play at his level on a game to game basis and consistently put up record numbers.”-@AndrewFerdenzi

“I’ve ever seen? LeBron. Who I’ve heard was? Probably Barry Sanders.”–@matthewdufner

“I have to say LeBron James for sure he does everything and at an old age and physically is bigger and better then basically every other person on the court he does everything. He is so insane and a physical monster I believe he could also do amazing if he was in the NFL.”–@JJHumphrey12

“Probably Tom Brady. Nobody can consistently dominate the sport they play like he does.”–justinwagner2498

“Probably OBJ before the injury last season. I don’t know how it’ll impact his ability from here on out but there would be crazy videos of him doing things in soccer, football, basketball, and baseball, he did it all. As much as I don’t like him as a person, I have to admit the dude is a hell of an athlete.”–@M_Formo

“I would have to say Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan is by far the best. No one could match how many rings he has…I saw lots of old highlights. The best one is the crossover against the Jazz to end the finals.” –@GillRyan11

Michael Vick in his prime. That man could do it all and made it look like he was playing against high schoolers. And he was one of the first dominant mobile QBs.” –@LordBeckler 

Final Tally

LeBron James- 4

Michael Jordan- 1

Michael Vick- 1

Michael Phelps- 1 and 1/2

Serena Williams- 1/2

Tom Brady- 1

Odell Beckham Jr. – 1

James won this poll by far. The only athlete with more than a single vote was Phelps who got one and a half. It was interesting to note that people interpreted the question differently. For instance, Justin picked Brady, who is known for winning and being the greatest quarterback of all time, but isn’t going to be outrunning a defender anytime soon.

On the other hand, Mark went with Beckham, a player who is in just his fifth NFL season and has never won a playoff game. Gill went as far back as choosing Jordan because of the, many, highlights he’s watched of him. And Matt mentioned Barry Sanders as the best athlete he’s ever heard of. A lot of the guys went in different directions, like Federico, who split his vote.

NFL players ended up carrying the most unique votes, with three football players getting votes. Basketball was the only other sport to have multiple entries, with two, but had the most total votes with five. Swimming and tennis were the other two sports represented, leaving boxing, MMA, baseball, hockey, and soccer off of the list. Three of the athletes shared the first name Michael, making it the most popular first name on any poll to date.

If we’d all lived in a different generation you’d see names like Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Pele, Jerry Rice, Jim Brown, Lawrence Taylor, Deion Sanders, Bo Jackson, Jim Thorpe, Babe Ruth, Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, or Wilt Chamberlain. But that’s a poll for another time.

There were several athletes who, depending on how you interpreted the question, could’ve appeared on the list. Usain Bolt, Roger Federer, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, J.J. Watt, Randy Moss, Mike Trout, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and Tiger Woods (that’s a lot of names), would all have sincere claims to the title of most dominant athlete. But only one can truly be the best and to me the choice was obvious.

My Pick

I think for the first time I’m going to have to agree with the poll results. James is the most dynamic athlete of his generation and I’ve never seen anyone else do what he does. The only knock on him would be from a winning perspective, not a pure athletic view. He’s lost in the NBA Finals a bunch, then again he’s had to face a loaded Golden State Warriors team in the last few.

In terms of pure athleticism, he’s bigger, taller, faster, stronger, and more dynamic than anyone I’ve ever seen. I mean, just watch this guy fly. That combination of traits is special, we’ve heard it a million times, but he really is incredible.