Mike Freeman of CBS Sportsline has decided (here) we need to be talking about Reggie Bush being among the most overrated athletes ever and a huge draft bust in the vein of Tony Mandarich (so, historically big). Me? I think it’s a little too soon, and that’s a little extreme. But Mike segued his Bush column into a list of the top 10 most overrated athletes ever and a quick list of his top 10 underrated. The lists seem to have been compiled sort of off-the-cuff, but I’m going to make fun of them anyway.
10. Vince Carter –- His terrible shooting makes him one dimensional.
Okay – then what’s his one dimension? Passing? Vince Carter is overrated because he doesn’t, you know, TRY all the time, and he settles for jump shots way too much and is not close to being the defender he should be with this athleticism. He’s overrated because, despite his unbelievable talent, he fails to dominate games consistently the way an elite player should. But he’s not a bad shooter, never mind being terrible.
Career FG-3PFG %’s
Carter –.477 / .377
Kobe Bryant - .453/.337
Ray Allen - .446/.397
Tracy McGrady - .439/.332
Those are literally the first 3 guys I looked up. Measuring shooting ablity is obviously more complex than this (glancing at %’s), but c’mon, THAT’s the reason Carter makes your list?
9. Chris Webber –- Average NBA career but grand name recognition.
Overrated? Yes. But “average NBA career?” is ridiculous. One of the top 10 power forwards ever? Maybe. One of the best passing PF’s? Yes. Average NBA career? Huh? He was on an all-NBA team 5 times.
8. Jose Canseco -– Has had more of an impact on baseball post-career with his mouth than he ever did with his bat.
In fairness to Jose, he had more of an impact on baseball post-career with his mouth than most other sluggers did with their bats. Not many people put Jose’s playing career on a pedestal, so I’m not sure why it’s overrated. He was awesome for a couple of years though. I think even most moderate baseball fans have his career pretty well pegged.
7. John Daly –- Could easily be top three.
6. Bo Jackson –- Both overrated and underrated. Overrated because his career was so short; underrated because he is one of the best athletes sports has ever witnessed.
Then don’t those two things offset each other, leaving him correctly “rated”. But very clever having him on both lists!
5. Reggie Bush –- This from former Denver offensive lineman and current analyst Mark Schlereth: "You look at Reggie Bush. Reggie Bush doesn't know how to run between the tackles right now. He's a guy that's an edge runner. He's a guy that right now is not fulfilling his part of this offense."
Bush was the subject of his column, but can we give this a little more time please? Number 5 ALL-TIME…out of every sport!
4. Joe Namath –- 220 interceptions, one championship and a lot of horrible seasons.
Ok. He’s a classic pick.
3. Michael Vick –- Good player but career shortened due to stupidity.
Number 3 most overrated athlete ever, because he was stupid? What if his career was cut short due to a freak injury, like Bo Jackson, then does he make both lists too?
2. Mike Tyson -- Devastating puncher and one trick fighter.
I suppose a good argument for Tyson being this high exists, but I really don’t think most sports fans rank him that high on their all-time heavyweight list. Like, because he lost to Holyfield twice, most people aren’t putting him ahead of Holyfield. ANYWAY. He was never the same after he fired Kevin Rooney and subsequently caught a crazy uppercut from Buster Douglas in Tokyo. He was probably overrated until about February of 1990 (based on how he panned out), when people were calling him the best boxer ever. In 2007, he’s considered a crazy flash in the pan who had some freakish good years against sub-par competition. And that’s about right.
1. David Beckham –- No one, but no one, comes even close.
(A quick top 10 most underrated ever: Marion Motley, Artis Gilmore, Justine Henin, Bo Jackson, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Olympic star Rafer Johnson, Donovan McNabb (maybe the most under-appreciated player in NFL history), Don Hutson, Jim Rice, and Lenny Moore.)
I have no energy for this so I’ll just bullet out some observations:
- Bo Jackson is on both lists. That’s retarded.
- You have McNabb as the most underrated QB in history. I’m not an NFL guy but that strikes me as probably not being true and McNabb is possibly benefiting from a great game he played like 4 days ago.
- You have Jim Rice as the most underrated baseball player ever (ignoring Bo Jackson here). I have no idea where that is going, but given the healthy debate he’s involved in every year over his Hall of Fame candidacy, and the fact that he probably shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame, I disagree.
- Track and Field stars not named Carl Lewis are pretty much all underrated, because no one cares about Track and Field.
Gilmore is a pretty solid pick.