MY 10 FAVORITE ATHLETES RIGHT NOW
The phrase "A Joy to Watch" applies to all
- •Sasha Banks (WWE Wrestler)Banks is, quite simply, the best wrestler, man or woman, in the industry. I know that wrestling isn't everyone's bag. But that's okay. We can like different things. Banks is responsible for two of the best matches of the year including the physical, athletic and emotional roller coaster that was her NXT Takeover: Brooklyn match with Bayley, which is the best wrestling match I have ever seen. Period. At 23, and with a dynamic personality, it's only a matter of time before she hits the mainstream.
- •Mike Trout (LA Angels Outfielder)Baseball's best all-around player. I've written about him here before. He's built like a linebacker and runs like an Olympic sprinter. Hits to all fields and catches everything.
- •Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals Outfielder)Brash and supremely talented, Harper is the perfect heel to Mike Trout's vanilla ice cream good guy. He's came into his own this season, with 42 homers and an on-base pct that would make Ted Williams blush. He carried an otherwise heinous dumpster fire in Washington this year and should be the National League MVP. And he's 22.
- •LeBron JamesYou could sit and hate on the King, or you could bask in his ability to do everything better than nearly anyone. A mixture of Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson, and a middle linebacker, he has taken some horrible teams (none worse than last year's depleted Cavs team) to the cusp of immortality. I feel honored to watch LeBron play, even as a Celtics fan.
- •Gennady Golovkin (Middleweight Boxer)The Kazakh boxer is probably not a household name, but may be after his first headlining PPV fight on Saturday at Madison Square Garden. Golovkin (or GGG) is 33-0 in his career with 30 knockout victories. He's also very good on the mic after he demolishes his opponents. His style is fascinating, as he will often toy with his opponent, stringing them on for a few rounds before digging them a six foot hole in the ring.
- •Carlos CorreaAt just 21 years old (albeit barely) he is one of the most refined players in baseball. He fields his position like he was made by the Dyson company and his approach at the plate is unmatched. He hit nearly .400 this season with 2 strikes. That's unheard of. And if that's not enough, he handles the media like a pro, often bouncing back and forth between English and Spanish like it's no big thing. He's the next Jeter, only with the potential, truly, to be better.
- •Teddy BridgewaterYes, the only football player on this list is the second year starting QB of the Minnesota Vikings. I nearly left this just devoid of football players because I find the NFL repugnant. But there's a special place in my heart for Teddy Time. This is a guy who beat the odds at Louisville, ran an offense like a pro (making his own reads and calling his own audibles) and single-handedly won games. In the NFL he's shown a remarkable steadiness for such a young QB.
- •Kün AgueroHe's not Ronaldo. He's not Messi. But that's like saying "He's not Babe Ruth or Willie Mays so he sucks." Aguero is a lethal finisher with incredible strength for such a diminutive player. Beyond the strength, he plays with real pace. And unlike a number of world class strikers (Zlatan Ibrahimovic on line 1), Aguero isn't a narcissistic monster. It also helps that he is my favorite club's striker.
- •Yasiel PuigAn injury plagued 2015 season for Puig made baseball less interesting. His arrival to MLB in 2013 changed the game. Every part of Puig is fascinating. The story of how he came to the U.S. The story of how the Dodgers signed him. The story of how he changed the Dodgers 2013 season (even if that narrative is a little overdone). He plays the game with flair and panache. I hope for baseball fans that he comes back healthy in 2016.
- •Ronda RouseyFull disclosure: I've never watched an MMA fight. I'm a boxing fan. Have been since I was a teenager. MMA doesn't strike me as terribly artful, like boxing can be. Rousey, though, has captured my attention and admiration. I find myself in awe of her ability to handle the massive press interest in her by clearly remaining herself. And her occasional verbal jabs at Floyd Mayweather are the height of giving no fucks. And it probably doesn't hurt that she's the best athlete in her sport by miles.