Michael Jordan Honored As ESPN’s Greatest Athlete Of The Century

Michael Jordan Honored As ESPN’s Greatest Athlete Of The Century – Brief Article

Michael Jordan, who left an indelible mark on basketball as one of the greatest NBA players, left his mark on the entire sports world after being named the greatest athlete of the 20th century by ESPN’s “SportsCentury” series.

His airness received the largest number of votes from a 48-member panel, finishing more than 100 points ahead of baseball’s Babe Ruth, said the series’ coordinating producer, Mark Shapiro, to the Chicago Tribune.

Both Jordan and Ruth, who finished second in the voting, were profiled recently during ESPN’s special series on ABC. Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali made No. 3 and football’s Jim Brown finished in fourth place.

During an interview for the special program, Jordan told ESPN’s Dan Patrick that he didn’t want to go down as the century’s best.

“Michael knows how negative everything is today,” Patrick told the newspaper. “He said he didn’t want to be No. I because people will bring up that he couldn’t hit a curveball or that he’s a lousy golfer. If he was No. 2, nobody would say a word.”

Even if Michael was reluctant to accept his status as greatest athlete of the century, others believe he’s worthy of the honor.

“It says a lot for Ali and Ruth to be up there after what seems like years and years since they performed,” Indiana Pacers coach and former NBA player Larry Bird said to the Chicago Sun-Times. “But Michael deserves it. He was a great athlete and great person.”

Rounding out the top 10 are Wayne Gretzky, Jesse Owens, Jim Thorpe, Willie Mays, Jack Nicklaus and Babe Didrikson. Baseball’s Hank Aaron came in at No. 14 and Jackie Robinson finished behind him at No. 15.

Additionally, Jordan was recently named one of the top entertainers of the century by TV Guide. He came in at No. 7, between actor Jimmy Stewart and talk-show legend Johnny Carson.

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