No. 00 — Jim Otto
Honorable Mention: Robert Parrish, NBA
The Raiders have a strong line of Hall of Fame talent that have donned the Silver & Black. Otto spent the entirety of his 15-year career in Oakland, serving as protection for all-time great Raider quarterbacks including Daryle Lamonica and Tom Flores. In addition to being a member of the AFL All-Time Team, Otto’s sustained greatness at the professional level earned him a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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No. 0 — Russell Westbrook
Honorable Mention: Gilbert Arenas, NBA
The most athletic point guard the league has seen, Westbrook is an absolute dynamo on the court. Westbrook’s talent has always been evident, but he was truly unleashed after Kevin Durant’s departure from Oklahoma City. As the lead man for the first time in his career, Westbrook finished the 2017 season averaging a triple-double – the first player to do so since Oscar Robertson (more on him in a minute). Anytime Russ has the ball in his hands, something electric can happen.
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No. 1 — Oscar Robertson
Honorable Mention: Warren Moon, NFL; Ozzie Smith, MLB
The original king of the “triple-double”, Robertson is credited as the first player to average at least 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists per game over a full season. Robertson accomplished the historical feat in just his second professional season, putting up a ridiculous stat line of 30.8 PPG, 11.4 APG, and 12.5 RPG. Robertson would go on to capture his first MVP trophy two years later — narrowly missing a second triple-double season (9.9 RPG) — while helping lead the Milwaukee Bucks to an NBA championship in 1971.
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No. 2 — Moses Malone
Honorable Mention: Derek Jeter, MLB
Malone became a pioneer for the sport when he decided to forego college and jump straight to the professional ranks following an illustrious high school career. Many great players have followed in his footsteps, including Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Malone proved that he was plenty capable of holding his own as a youngster, securing a spot on the ABA All-Rookie Team in his first season. He’d go on to win three MVP trophies, and was one of the best players throughout the 80’s.
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No. 3 — Babe Ruth
Honorable Mentions: Allen Iverson, NBA; Dale Earnhardt, NASCAR
Although he has some competition in the form of two dynamic guards in Dwyane Wade and Allen Iverson, Ruth is the clear cut pick for players that have donned the No. 3 jersey. The Great Bambino is widely considered to be the greatest baseball player of all-time. Gifted at both hitting and pitching, Ruth brought legitimacy to the term “iron man” as it pertains to baseball players.
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No. 4 — Lou Gehrig
Honorable Mentions: Brett Favre, NFL; Bobby Orr, NHL
A six-time World Series champion, two-time MVP, seven-time All-Star, and Triple Crown winner, Gehrig has the individual and team accomplishments to stack up with all of the Yankee greats. After his career was cut short due to ALS (referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s disease”) in 1939, Gehrig delivered one of the most impactful and important retirement speeches in the history of sports. The speech has been called “Baseball’s Gettysburg Address.”
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No. 5 — Joe DiMaggio
Honorable Mention: Paul Hornung, NFL
A pillar of consistency, the former Yankee center fielder etched his name in the record books with a historic 56-game hitting streak during the 1941 season. DiMaggio is a nine-time World Series champion, a three-time MVP, and a member of the Major League Baseball All-Century team.
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No. 6 — LeBron James
Honorable Mention: Bill Russell, NBA
No player in the last 50 years of sports has had more pressure to succeed than James. Entering the league as the “Chosen One,” James was expected to light the league on fire with his enormous body and freakish athleticism. He’s fulfilled those expectations, and then some. Although the majority of his career has been spent donning No. 23, two of his three NBA titles have come while wearing No. 6, justifying this distinction. The four-time MVP is well on his way to breaking the league’s all-time scoring record, and remains the NBA’s top player 15 years into his career. With no signs of slowing down, the longevity James has sustained is unprecedented.
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No. 7 — Mickey Mantle
Honorable Mention: John Elway, NFL; Cristiano Ronaldo, soccer
A member of the Yankees’ iconic roster that dominated for the better part of two decades, Mantle was an effortless slugger with scary power. The 20-time All-Star helped lead the franchise to seven World Series victories, including a three-peat to kick off Mantle’s career in pinstripes.
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No. 8 — Kobe Bryant
Honorable Mentions: Alexander Ovechkin, NHL; Steve Young, NFL; Yogi Berra, MLB
Although he played his final game donning No. 24, many Laker fans remember a younger, hairier Bryant flying through Staples Center with a different number on. He was wearing No. 8 when he scored 81 against Toronto, 62 in three quarters against Dallas, and when he won three titles alongside Shaq. Even though he only wore the number for 10 seasons, Bryant’s accomplishments solely as No. 8 are Hall of Fame worthy.
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No. 9 — Gordie Howe
Honorable Mention: Drew Brees, NFL
Howe’s illustrious career spanned 32 seasons, including 25 years with Detroit. As a Red Wing, Howe won six MVP awards and four Stanley Cup championships. His name still lives on in the hockey world, as a “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” refers to a player who records a goal, an assist, and a fight in a single game.
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