Tuesday, June 3, 2008 Updated: June 9, 10:00 AM ET
WE KNOW BEST
By Various Athletes, as told to Mag.Com Staff
"I may be the best out there, truth."
WHO IS THE BEST CURRENTLY ACTIVE ATHLETE?
1. LeBron James (22)
2. Tiger Woods (19)
3. Kobe Bryant (7)
4. Dwight Howard (4)
5. LaDainian Tomlinson (2)
THE "SAY WHAT?" GREATEST CURRENT ATHLETE ANSWERS WE GOT
"A guy named Quan Cosby. He's a receiver at Texas now. I saw him play in high school. He also got
drafted by the Angels. Hands down the best athlete I've ever seen." -Kelly Shoppach, Indians
Cosby's credentials: He flamed out in the minors after four seasons. But the rising senior caught 60 passes for 680 yards for the Longhorns in '07.
"A player out of Mater Dei High named Schea Cotton. Definitely the best, but he never got a shot at the NBA."
-Lamar Odom, Lakers
Cotton's credentials: In 1994, after averaging 20 ppg for Mater Dei, he was a hot freshman prospect. But injuries and bad grades stymied his high school career and his college days at Alabama. He went undrafted by the NBA after two years with the Tide.
"Antonio Cromartie is freakish. Long arms, long legs-he's the game's best athlete. If you teach him to play something, he'll be good at it." -Quentin Jammer, Chargers
Cromartie's credentials: Opponents may think LT is the best jock in football, but five of the seven Chargers polled don't think he's even the best on their team. Anyone who saw Cromartie—a former No. 1 pick out of FSU—make three acrobatic picks off of Peyton Manning last November would agree.
"Joe Mauer. We both grew up in Minnesota, and in high school I can tell you he was the man in baseball, basketball and football." -Kris Humphries, Raptors
Mauer's credentials: The No. 1 overall pick in the '01 baseball draft, Mauer also had an offer to play QB at Florida State. In 2006, he won the AL batting title and is a career .313 hitter.
Josh Smith may be the most underrated player in the NBA.
"Michael Wilson. He's got the world record for the highest dunk." -Ray Allen, Celtics
Wilson's credentials: It's true. On April 1, 2000, Wilson, who played at Memphis from 1994 to 1996, dunked on a 12-foot rim at the Final Four.WHO'S THE GREATEST RETIRED ATHLETE?
1. Michael Jordan (53)
2. Bo Jackson (17)
3. Deion Sanders (7)
4. Carl Lewis (4)
5. Muhammad Ali (2)
WHAT'S THE MOST DEMANDING SPORT TO PLAY?
1. Football (72) ("That's a man's sport!" -Anthony Johnson, Sacramento Kings )
2. Basketball (26)
3. Baseball (15)
4. Hockey (9)
5. Soccer/Cycling (6)
WHAT SPORT HAS THE BEST ATHLETES?
1. Basketball (78)
2. Football (42)
3. Baseball (12)
4. Hockey (8)
5. Gymnastics (6)
WHO ARE THE MOST LEGIT GUYS IN THE MAJOR SPORTS?MLB
Who You Know to Watch: Alex Rodriguez
Who You Need to Watch: Brandon Inge, Tigers 3B.
"How many guys are great defensive catchers, third basemen and centerfielders at the major league level? From what I hear, he has also kicked 50-yard field goals at Ford Field and can hit a golf ball almost 300 yards. Plus, the man has the biggest calves I've ever seen." -Grady Sizemore, Indians
Inge's credentials: Several players mentioned Inge. Guess we'll just have to take their word. He's a career .240 hitter who has struck out 100 or more times in four different seasons.NFL
Who You Know to Watch: LaDainian Tomlinson
Who You Need to Watch: Jabar Gaffney, Patriots WR.
Says Tom Brady: "He can do it all."
Gaffney's credentials: Forget the 36 catches a year Gaffney has averaged in his six pro seasons. Brady practices with him every day, and if he says Jabar is great, then he's great.NHL
Who You Know to Watch: Sidney Crosby
Who You Need to Watch: Kevin Dallman, Kings D.
"He plays volleyball and tennis. He does gymnastics, even backflips. He's the best on the team at everything we try." -Patrick O'Sullivan, Kings
Dallman's credentials: It's easy to overlook the four-year journeyman on the ice—especially because he's playing for his third team. But he's built a rep as a defender with wicked upper-body strength. Explains those backflips, at least.
You know he's good.
Who You Know to Watch: LeBron James
Who You Need to Watch: Josh Smith, Hawks F.
Shawn Marion, one of many NBAers who named Smith as the league's best athlete, calls him "a freak."
Smith's credentials: In 2005, Smith became the second-youngest player to win the slam-dunk contest. In four NBA seasons, the 6'9'', 235-pound forward has averaged 13.6 ppg and 7.4 rpg.