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TWENTY GREATEST WILL BE INDUCTED IN 2021
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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers. During his career as a center, Abdul-Jabbar was a record six-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), a record 19-time NBA All-Star, a 15-time All-NBA selection, and an 11-time NBA All-Defensive Team member. A member of six NBA championship teams as a player and two more as an assistant coach, Abdul-Jabbar twice was voted NBA Finals MVP. In 1996, he was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.
Serena Williams has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any player in the Open Era. The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) ranked her world No. 1 in singles on eight separate occasions between 2002 and 2017. She reached the No. 1 ranking for the first time on July 8, 2002. On her sixth occasion, she held the ranking for 186 consecutive weeks; in total, she has been No. 1 for 319 weeks. She holds the most Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles combined among active players.
Michael Jordan played 15 seasons in the NBA, winning six championships with the Chicago Bulls. Jordan's individual accolades and accomplishments include six NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards, ten scoring titles (both all-time records), five MVP Awards, ten All-NBA First Team designations, nine All-Defensive First Team honors, fourteen NBA All-Star Game selections, three All-Star Game MVP Awards, three steals titles, and the 1988 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. In 1996, he was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.
Sue Bird Bird has won a joint-record four WNBA championships with the Storm (2004, 2010, 2018, 2020), four Olympic gold medals (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016), two NCAA Championships with UConn (2000, 2002), and four FIBA World Cups (2002, 2010, 2014, 2018). She is one of only 11 women to attain all four accolades.
Kobe Bryant spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.Regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Bryant won five NBA championships, was an 18-time All-Star, a 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, a 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team, the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), and a two-time NBA Finals MVP.
Steffi Graf was ranked the world's No. 1 women's tennis player for a record 377 weeks (more than 7 years) and won 22 Grand Slam singles titles. In 1988, she became the only tennis player to achieve the Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year. She is the only tennis player to have won each Grand Slam tournament at least four times.
EARVIN "MAGIC" JOHNSON
Magic Johnson played 13 seasons for the L.A. Lakers and was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996. Johnson won a championship and an NBA Finals MVP Award in his rookie season; and then went on to win four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980's. Johnson's career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Stargames, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations.
Mia Hamm is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion. Hamm was named U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year five years in a row and won three ESPY awards including Soccer Player of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year. The Women's Sports Foundation named her Sportswoman of the Year in 1997 and 1999.
Muhammad Ali won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Summer Olympics and turned professional later that year. He won the world heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston in a major upset on February 25, 1964, at age 22. He has been ranked the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time, and as the greatest sportsman of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated and the Sports Personality of the Century by the BBC.
Track & Field Legend
Allyson Felix is the only female track and field athlete to ever win six Olympic gold medals. At 200 meters, she is the 2012 Olympic champion, a 3-time World champion (2005–2009), and 2-time Olympic silver medalist (2004 and 2008). At 400 meters, she is the 2015 World champion, 2011 World silver medalist, 2016 Olympic silver medalist, and 2017 World bronze medalist.
Felix has won five additional Olympic gold medals as a member of the United States' women's relay teams: three at 4 × 400 meters (2008-2016), and two at 4 x 100 meters (2012 and 2016). Felix is also the most decorated athlete, male or female, in World Athletics Championships history with 18 career medals, and also has the most gold medals at 13.
Pelé won three FIFA World Cups during his international career (1958, 1962 and 1970). He was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), and was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century. In 1999, Pelé was named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee and was included in the Time list of the 100 most important people of the 20th century. According to the IFFHS, Pelé is the most successful top division scorer in the sport with 541 goals in 560 games.
Cynthia Cooper led the league in scoring three consecutive years, galvanizing the franchise to a record four WNBA Championships. In addition, she was voted the WNBA's MVP in 1997 and 1998 and named Most Valuable Player in each of those four WNBA Finals. Cooper was named the 1998 Sportswoman of the Year (in the team category) by the Women's Sports Foundation.
Tiger Woods has been the number one player in the world for the most consecutive weeks and for the greatest total number of weeks of any golfer in history. Woods has been awarded PGA Player of the Year a record 11 times and has won the Byron Nelson Award for lowest adjusted scoring average a record eight times. He has won 15 professional major golf championships and 82 PGA Tour events (tied for first all time). Woods leads all active golfers in career major wins and career PGA Tour wins. Woods is the 1 of 2 golfers to achieve a career Grand Slam three times. Woods has won 18 World Golf Championships. He was also part of the American winning team for the 1999 Ryder Cup. In May 2019, Woods was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald Trump.
MISTY MAY & KERRI WALSH
Beach Volleyball Legends
Misty May & Kerri Walsh were the gold medalists in beach volleyball at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. They also won the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in 2003, 2005 and 2007. They have been called "the greatest beach volleyball team of all time." They were awarded the Sportswoman of the Year Award in 2004 and 2006.
Tom Brady led the New England Patriots to 17 division titles,13 AFC Championship Games, nine Super Bowl appearances, and six Super Bowl titles, all NFL records for a player and franchise. He joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020 and led them to a Super Bowl LV victory. Brady holds many career quarterback records, including passing yards (91,653), completions (8,542), touchdown passes (664), and games started (344), in addition to the most Pro Bowl selections (14). Brady also has 5 Super Bowl MVP awards.
Annika Sörenstam won 90 international tournaments as a professional, making her the female golfer with the most wins to her name. She has won 72 official LPGA tournaments including ten majors and 18 other tournaments internationally, and she tops the LPGA's career money list with earnings of over $22 million. The winner of a record eight Player of the Year awards, and six Vare Trophies, she is the only female golfer to shoot a 59 in competition.
Hope Solo is a World Cup champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist for the USA Women's National Soccer team. Solo holds several U.S. goalkeeper records including appearances (202), starts (190), wins (153), shutouts (102), wins in a season (26), consecutive minutes played (1,256), and longest undefeated streak (55 games). She was voted Sports Spectacular Female Athlete of the Year in 2013.
Roger Federer has won 20 Grand Slam men's singles titles, an all-time record. Federer has been world No. 1 in the ATP rankings a total of 310 weeks – including a record 237 consecutive weeks – and has finished as the year-end No. 1 five times. Federer has won 103 ATP singles titles, the second-most of all-time, including a record six ATP Finals. Federer won his first Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon in 2003 at age 21. In 2004, he won three out of the four major singles titles and the ATP Finals, a feat he repeated in 2006 and 2007. From 2005 to 2010, Federer made 18 out of 19 major singles finals. During this span, he won his fifth consecutive titles at both Wimbledon and the US Open. He completed the career Grand Slam at the 2009 French Open.
Diana Taurasi has won the WNBA Rookie of the Year Award (2004), three WNBA championships (2007, 2009, and 2014), one WNBA Most Valuable Player Award (2009), two WNBA Finals MVP Awards (2009 and 2014), four Olympic gold medals, (2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016), five scoring titles (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011), and three FIBA World Cups (2010, 2014, and 2018). She has also been selected to nine WNBA All-Star teams and ten All-WNBA teams. In 2011, she was voted by fans as one of the WNBA's Top 15 Players of All Time. On June 18, 2017, Taurasi became the WNBA all-time leading scorer.