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Which Young Athletes Can Become All-Time Greats In Their Sport?

We all know the legends across sports—Jordan in basketball, Ruth in baseball, and Gretzky in hockey. But eventually, we'll have new legends who can make those lists.


Let's look at a few of the younger players today who have a chance to become those legends one day. This article also won't include older, more apparent guys who will be legends when they retire, like LeBron James or Mike Trout.



Erling Haaland, Manchester City (Soccer)


While Kylian Mbappe also deserves a nod, Haaland deserves it a tad more now. Not to diminish Mbappe's incredible world cup performance, but Haaland has been otherwordly.


Haaland has turned 23 and is on a ridiculous pace. In 35 appearances last year in the Premier League, Haaland had 36 goals and eight assists, a new record for goals in the Prem. He did that in his first year.

He also managed to win the Premier League and had 12 goals in 11 matches en route to a Champions League victory. He has also won the FA Cup, Manchester City's Player of the Year, and the Premier League's Player of the Season.


Haaland can be a soccer legend as long as Pep Guardiola can keep Kevin De Bruyne around and keep the team loaded.


Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels (Baseball)


Shohei has the best potential of any current MLB player, and it's not necessarily close. While he did come over a bit later than most players due to playing in Japan, accolades and sheer talent should carry him through.


With three all-stars under his belt already, a rookie of the year, and MVP with another one incoming this year, Ohtani's accolades will be incredible, and if he's not remembered for those, it will be his pure talent.

No player has ever been able to pitch and hit like Ohtani simultaneously. Ruth, who many consider the goat, did it but never in the same season. Ohtani is doing it and is in the race for both MVP and Cy Young simultaneously.


If Ohtani can stay healthy from here on out and hopefully win a few championships, he may end his career as the GOAT.


Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks (Basketball)


Doncic has been nothing but electric to the start his career and has already done multiple things that not even Jordan or LeBron ever did. At only 23, he has already accrued four first-team All-NBA's, four All-Star appearances, and won Rookie of the Year.


He also, for his career, averages more points, assists, and rebounds than LeBron has in his career. Remember, LeBron averages around 27 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists for his career.


An insane pace, but if he can keep up with it, it can only mean greatness. Doncic needs to win a few rings and play some defense, and he'll be terrifying.


Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (Football)


Mahomes had to have been on this list. After playing only his fifth season and being only 27, Mahomes has two super bowls, two super bowl MVPs, two regular season MVPs, a 2018 offensive layer of the year, a two-time all-pro, and a five-time pro bowler.


For his age, and given how long great QBs play, it's a matter of time before Mahomes is a legend of the sport.


At this point in his career, Mahomes has more yards than Brady, a third of the interceptions, and far more accolades. Brady had only made three pro bowls, no MVP, and only one all-pro. Mahomes is coming for the greatest of all-time crowns.


I fear that because Mahomes lost to Brady twice in the AFC championship and Super Bowl, people won't accept he could be better.


Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings (Football)


This was probably different from a name you expected to see here, but trust me, Jefferson is deserving. Based on their first three seasons, while Rice does have 15 more touchdowns, Jefferson has 24 more receptions and 1300 more yards.


If you want to use the argument that the current NFL throws more, that's okay, but also consider that Jerry Rice had Joe Montana, and Justin Jefferson has Kirk Cousins. Both have an offensive player of the year, but Jefferson has more All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections.


Give it time, but don't be surprised if Jefferson can end up in the GOAT debate for wide receivers.


 

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