Tom Brady > Michael Jordan as single most dominant athlete in the history of team sports

I think Tom Brady has officially overtaken Jordan as the single most dominant athlete of all time in team sports. Not because of the quantity of championships but because he went to Tampa and immediately won a SB. Jordan had a killer team for most of his championships but Brady had a mediocre Pats team for the last couple of his and then, well Tampa Bay. He is the definition of a field general.


And we have the stupidest post-Super Bowl hot take for this week. Fodder for many a talk show, nothing more.

The problem is you can’t really compare basketball athletes and football athletes that way. Jordan can single-handedly win games with little help, while Tom can’t do anything without blockers and receivers and at least a halfway competent defense.

Tom Brady, GOAT in football? Sure, I won’t argue. More dominant than Jordan? He objectively can’t be.

I have to go with Jordan.

I keep hearing Bill Russell chuckling, anyone else?

Agreed. For instance today he was named MVP of the game but he really wasn’t. It’s just what they do when it’s a team win. He did well today but the Tampa Bay defense clearly won the game. It was a dominating performance. Tom Brady is no doubt one of the all time greats but to compare him to Jordan just doesn’t work. Brady has to rely on 50 other players to win. It takes a special talent to win that much in football but it’s a much different talent and you still have to hope they give you a good defense too.

I mean, he’s got a hell of a lot of competition. Bill Russell is an obvious choice, but there’s Wayne Gretzky, Mickey Mantle, Ken Dryden, Jordan, etc.

Tampa Bay won because they DOMINATED the line of scrimmage. Total domination.

Lord knows, there might even be a couple of non-Americans in consideration.

I don’t really watch basketball, but from what I understand Jordan didn’t just dominate he changed the sport.

And Larry Bird.

I think Jordan was more dominant, but the OP’s argument is much stronger than many here are giving him credit for.

Brady is competing in perhaps the most parity-driven league of all North American sports, and he was doing it in the salary-cap era, too. And his playoff wins far exceed any other quarterback.

No other quarterback has even won more than 4 Super Bowls; Brady has won 7.
No other quarterback has even won more than 5 conference title games; Brady has won 10.

Furthermore, Brady often did it with a relatively weak supporting cast, as the OP points out.

On top of that, Brady once led the Patriots back from a 25-point deficit in a Super Bowl. The equivalent for Jordan would have to be something like leading the Bulls back from an 0-3 game deficit in the NBA Finals.

If you only count the big 4 sports in the USA, I think Gretzky is the only player that’s the (reasonably) unquestioned GOAT in his sport. He’s the clear winner in US team sports, IMO.

I don’t understand why Russell doesn’t get more consideration than he does. No one dominated winning like he did. There were only two years in his career that he didn’t win the title and in one he was hurt.

Because he was on a great team with lots of great teammates in a league with 8-10 teams. Statistically he was never a league leader and there’s a lot more to greatness than just winning championships. Was he great, sure, but no serious basketball historian puts him on top of Jordan, Lebron or Kareem. Most Celtics fans don’t even argue he’s greater than Bird. Is Terry Bradshaw the second greatest QB ever?

The league was so small back then that winning the championship was almost more akin to winning an NFL division title than an actual championship of today.

It’s just a crap sport. The only way Brady wins 7 ‘super bowls’ is by virtue of a zillion rules, constantly tweaked to improve the ‘competition.’ Sure, he’s the best QB. Only problem being the game sucks ass.

Donald Bradman has them all beat.

Wayne Gretzky was more dominant in hockey than anyone was in any other major US sport. For example, Rocket Richard got 50 goals in 50 games in 1945. No one did that again until Mike Bossy did it in the early 80s, then a year or two later, Gretzky comes along and gets 50 goals in 39 games!!

It’s like Richard broke the 4 minute mile in 1945, Bossy manages to do the same in 1980, and then Gretzky comes along and runs a 3 minute mile.

Gretzky has more assists than any other player has assists plus goals. And, he did it over a much shorter career than the second play guy, Jagr.

No one has been as dominant as Gretzky in a sport.

Babe Ruth is greater than either. That’s what I think.

I only barely know about cricket, but Bradman’s batting stats are so head-and-shoulders above the competition as to be freakish.