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Was Kobe Bryant The Most Influential Sports Athlete Ever?

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  • Okay, I’m not saying he is. But he’s definitely up there. Even before his passing.

    He obviously wasn’t better than MJ, and didn’t dominate his sport like some others. But after seeing his impact across multiple countries and different sport athletes, he might have been the most influential athlete of all time.

    - Kobe came to fame during the internet and social media age. Jordan didn’t. NBA was yet to really go global in the 80’s and 90’s. By the 2000’s, the NBA was second to soccer in world popularity.

    - Everyone plays basketball. What kid hasn’t grown up and shot hoops at their local park? Now take Tom Brady for example, I don't think I’ve ever tried to play QB. Or Lawrence Taylor, I’ve never lined up and tried to sack someone. I’d bring up baseball as an example, but MLB just doesn’t have the star power of NFL and NBA. I think the only comparison would be soccer, which is huge globally but not in America. Maybe I’m being a close minded American, but if you aren’t having a major influence on America, you can’t be the most influential (I hate that statement but I think it’s true).

    Only other guys I can think of who compare to Kobe are Tiger Woods and LeBron James.
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  • Christiano Ronaldo.

    His global impact and influence is far greater than Kobes was, or what James and Woods is. I think the only question would be is how transformative Ronaldo's influence is to athletes in other sports.

    But Ronaldo's presence is incredible. 200 million instagram followers, has been in a running battle as best player in the world in the world's most supported sport for going on 16 years and across 4 major competitions.

    Not to make it a competition, but I think something like this happening to him would have a far greater impact on the world than what we are seeing with Kobe, or would with a James or Woods.
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  • Hawk-Lock wrote:Okay, I’m not saying he is. But he’s definitely up there. Even before his passing.

    He obviously wasn’t better than MJ, and didn’t dominate his sport like some others. But after seeing his impact across multiple countries and different sport athletes, he might have been the most influential athlete of all time.

    - Kobe came to fame during the internet and social media age. Jordan didn’t. NBA was yet to really go global in the 80’s and 90’s. By the 2000’s, the NBA was second to soccer in world popularity.

    - Everyone plays basketball. What kid hasn’t grown up and shot hoops at their local park? Now take Tom Brady for example, I don't think I’ve ever tried to play QB. Or Lawrence Taylor, I’ve never lined up and tried to sack someone. I’d bring up baseball as an example, but MLB just doesn’t have the star power of NFL and NBA. I think the only comparison would be soccer, which is huge globally but not in America. Maybe I’m being a close minded American, but if you aren’t having a major influence on America, you can’t be the most influential (I hate that statement but I think it’s true).

    Only other guys I can think of who compare to Kobe are Tiger Woods and LeBron James.


    Not Even close.

    Jackie Robinson, Bill Russell, Jordon, Walter Payton, Jim Thorpe, Jesse Owen, Bjorn Borg, Tiger Woods, are some that I would call much more influential.
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  • Uncle Si wrote:Christiano Ronaldo.

    His global impact and influence is far greater than Kobes was, or what James and Woods is. I think the only question would be is how transformative Ronaldo's influence is to athletes in other sports.

    But Ronaldo's presence is incredible. 200 million instagram followers, has been in a running battle as best player in the world in the world's most supported sport for going on 16 years and across 4 major competitions.

    Not to make it a competition, but I think something like this happening to him would have a far greater impact on the world than what we are seeing with Kobe, or would with a James or Woods.


    I think you are right. Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. His impact reaches everywhere. Obviously wouldn’t impact America like Kobe or another American athlete, but we are only one country.
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  • Hawk-Lock wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:Christiano Ronaldo.

    His global impact and influence is far greater than Kobes was, or what James and Woods is. I think the only question would be is how transformative Ronaldo's influence is to athletes in other sports.

    But Ronaldo's presence is incredible. 200 million instagram followers, has been in a running battle as best player in the world in the world's most supported sport for going on 16 years and across 4 major competitions.

    Not to make it a competition, but I think something like this happening to him would have a far greater impact on the world than what we are seeing with Kobe, or would with a James or Woods.


    I think you are right. Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. His impact reaches everywhere. Obviously wouldn’t impact America like Kobe or another American athlete, but we are only one country.



    Pele was much more a world influence, when he signed with the Cosmos it really woke up the US Market, he was also a world wide phenomena
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  • I think anyone from our generation attributes soccer with pele first. His impact was tremendous on america, but Ronaldo has transformed the reach of the sport and it's global impact.

    He's not the heart nor the soul of pele (even if a better player) but he's far more influential. In terms of popularity, Ronaldo edges it.

    Peles appeal comes from his impact on the game and how it changed with his style. Ronaldo is the most popular player of the most popular sport at its most popular time.
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  • Uncle Si wrote:I think anyone from our generation attributes soccer with pele first. His impact was tremendous on america, but Ronaldo has transformed the reach of the sport and it's global impact.

    He's not the heart nor the soul of pele (even if a better player) but he's far more influential. In terms of popularity, Ronaldo edges it.

    Peles appeal comes from his impact on the game and how it changed with his style. Ronaldo is the most popular player of the most popular sport at its most popular time.


    I don’t know soccer, but I think that would be comparable to say Kobe and Bill Russell. Kobe has reached more people and is more popular, but someone like Russell probably had a bigger impact on the sport itself.

    It’s difficult to compare athletes today to guys from 50 years ago as so much has changed. Technology. Social media. The list goes on.
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  • Uncle Si wrote:I think anyone from our generation attributes soccer with pele first. His impact was tremendous on america, but Ronaldo has transformed the reach of the sport and it's global impact.

    He's not the heart nor the soul of pele (even if a better player) but he's far more influential. In terms of popularity, Ronaldo edges it.

    Peles appeal comes from his impact on the game and how it changed with his style. Ronaldo is the most popular player of the most popular sport at its most popular time.


    Influential not popularity.

    There is a difference.
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  • Muhammad Ali, anyone?


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  • James in PA wrote:Muhammad Ali, anyone?


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    Yes I was thinking of him, he like this generation with the internet was a huge influence, he took a medium that was still being figured out as Television and used it to market himself, promote himself, and to influence his image and demoralize his opposition, really started Smack Talk as we know it.

    As a Professional he had Lightweight hands and feet and Heavy Weight punching power, not elite punching power but enough, developed strategies in the ring that took heart and determination away from many opponents, Ken Norton and Frazier being two he did not and were his most brutal fights where they were just Gladiator type bouts. But again the medium of TV and marketing made them world wide events.
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  • chris98251 wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:I think anyone from our generation attributes soccer with pele first. His impact was tremendous on america, but Ronaldo has transformed the reach of the sport and it's global impact.

    He's not the heart nor the soul of pele (even if a better player) but he's far more influential. In terms of popularity, Ronaldo edges it.

    Peles appeal comes from his impact on the game and how it changed with his style. Ronaldo is the most popular player of the most popular sport at its most popular time.


    Influential not popularity.

    There is a difference.


    Not as much today, not when you are as popular as Ronaldo.

    Look, much like Kobe, Ronaldo has a past, and much of his influence is in building his own brand. Whereas Pele was/is a genuine doer of good deeds in his post soccer life.

    But Ronaldo's impact on the sport has changed the landscape of not just soccer, but many other sports. It's global reach, stemming from he and Messi's popularity, is and has forced a change in the way sports are marketed, distributed, and viewed.

    They won't name a holiday after him. But FIFA would certainly christen their own money (which will probably happen soon) with his face.

    The likes of Robinson merely broke down barriers that were fairly specific to the US. Pele was a name to associate with the global sport. Ali challenged the changing social landscape of the US through his popularity.

    Ronaldo, without a long list of good deeds to his name, is the most popular athlete in all of sports and a time when sports are at their most popular. The influence there is whatever you want to attribute to that.
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  • Ali definitely, most Americans don't have the slightest idea who Ronaldo is. So I guess it just depends on where you are talking about.

    Right or wrong we are Americans and couldn't care less what the rest of the world cares about.
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  • Uncle Si wrote:
    chris98251 wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:I think anyone from our generation attributes soccer with pele first. His impact was tremendous on america, but Ronaldo has transformed the reach of the sport and it's global impact.

    He's not the heart nor the soul of pele (even if a better player) but he's far more influential. In terms of popularity, Ronaldo edges it.

    Peles appeal comes from his impact on the game and how it changed with his style. Ronaldo is the most popular player of the most popular sport at its most popular time.


    Influential not popularity.

    There is a difference.


    Not as much today, not when you are as popular as Ronaldo.

    Look, much like Kobe, Ronaldo has a past, and much of his influence is in building his own brand. Whereas Pele was/is a genuine doer of good deeds in his post soccer life.

    But Ronaldo's impact on the sport has changed the landscape of not just soccer, but many other sports. It's global reach, stemming from he and Messi's popularity, is and has forced a change in the way sports are marketed, distributed, and viewed.

    They won't name a holiday after him. But FIFA would certainly christen their own money (which will probably happen soon) with his face.


    Never seen Ronaldo or Messi or know who they play for or what they have done, heard of Renaldo but just know he is a soccer player.

    This is why I say influential, he may be popular in the Soccer world but if you step away from your chosen sport to watch you have to look big picture. Pele did what he does on a scale that didn't have instant notification like tweets, internet etc. It still reached the world through other mediums.

    Pele got what was the biggest contract in history for a Soccer player in New York, he was well past his prime then but still was such a influence the MLS put their campaign on him to draw attention to him and the sport to leverage the league, they then brought the German player over as well and I can't remember his name but was a big influence to get a balance of two teams with world class players.

    Could you imagine a Ali starting his career in the Social Media Generation ? He mastered Television and News Paper and Magazine interviews, and created a style for them, he would have a huge amount of followers and would break the internet today.
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  • Uncle Si wrote:
    chris98251 wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:I think anyone from our generation attributes soccer with pele first. His impact was tremendous on america, but Ronaldo has transformed the reach of the sport and it's global impact.

    He's not the heart nor the soul of pele (even if a better player) but he's far more influential. In terms of popularity, Ronaldo edges it.

    Peles appeal comes from his impact on the game and how it changed with his style. Ronaldo is the most popular player of the most popular sport at its most popular time.


    Influential not popularity.

    There is a difference.


    Not as much today, not when you are as popular as Ronaldo.

    Look, much like Kobe, Ronaldo has a past, and much of his influence is in building his own brand. Whereas Pele was/is a genuine doer of good deeds in his post soccer life.

    But Ronaldo's impact on the sport has changed the landscape of not just soccer, but many other sports. It's global reach, stemming from he and Messi's popularity, is and has forced a change in the way sports are marketed, distributed, and viewed.

    They won't name a holiday after him. But FIFA would certainly christen their own money (which will probably happen soon) with his face.

    The likes of Robinson merely broke down barriers that were fairly specific to the US. Pele was a name to associate with the global sport. Ali challenged the changing social landscape of the US through his popularity.

    Ronaldo, without a long list of good deeds to his name, is the most popular athlete in all of sports and a time when sports are at their most popular. The influence there is whatever you want to attribute to that.


    It is INFLUENCE not popularity jesus there is a difference.
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  • Uncle Si wrote:
    chris98251 wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:I think anyone from our generation attributes soccer with pele first. His impact was tremendous on america, but Ronaldo has transformed the reach of the sport and it's global impact.

    He's not the heart nor the soul of pele (even if a better player) but he's far more influential. In terms of popularity, Ronaldo edges it.

    Peles appeal comes from his impact on the game and how it changed with his style. Ronaldo is the most popular player of the most popular sport at its most popular time.


    Influential not popularity.

    There is a difference.


    Not as much today, not when you are as popular as Ronaldo.

    Look, much like Kobe, Ronaldo has a past, and much of his influence is in building his own brand. Whereas Pele was/is a genuine doer of good deeds in his post soccer life.

    But Ronaldo's impact on the sport has changed the landscape of not just soccer, but many other sports. It's global reach, stemming from he and Messi's popularity, is and has forced a change in the way sports are marketed, distributed, and viewed.

    They won't name a holiday after him. But FIFA would certainly christen their own money (which will probably happen soon) with his face.

    The likes of Robinson merely broke down barriers that were fairly specific to the US. Pele was a name to associate with the global sport. Ali challenged the changing social landscape of the US through his popularity.

    Ronaldo, without a long list of good deeds to his name, is the most popular athlete in all of sports and a time when sports are at their most popular. The influence there is whatever you want to attribute to that.


    Really he was just a guy then that happened to be black and played a what was then a Caucasian sport and that's it ?

    Where else in the world were there black sports superstars, even in Boxing there was huge world wide racial bias.

    Jesse Owen was almost as influential as the Atomic Bomb, on a world stage what he did in the Olympics shook the world and proved that h!tler's whole propaganda campaign was false about his ideas of the Supreme Race and really caused doubt amongst his own people he had convinced up until then.

    But yeah he was just a black guy running in a White Supremacists Olympic event that was steered to try and prove racial dominance. No big deal.

    That's influence.

    Jesse's popularity came after, that's popularity.
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  • The popularity has a great deal of influence on today's society. If you can't see that then that's fine.

    Ronaldo popularity and the power that his name brings is incredibly influential across the landscape of sports and culture. It is not directly attributable to social change, like some others being mentioned. But his presence and popularity in itself has had a massive influence and impact on sport, economics, and culture.

    Literally why social.media stars are called influencers.

    What you are trying to argue is what constitutes influence as it's important to you, and doing so in a way as if someone else is discrediting the impacts those athletes had, which I am not. You are also conflsting impact on american cultute as a global impact. I don't need a history lesson. But you may need a more open understanding of how impactful athletes are in today's society, even of they aren't attributed to specific movements.
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  • Uncle Si wrote:The popularity has a great deal of influence on today's society. If you can't see that then that's fine.

    Ronaldo popularity and the power that his name brings is incredibly influential across the landscape of sports and culture. It is not directly attributable to social change, like some others being mentioned. But his presence and popularity in itself has had a massive influence and impact on sport, economics, and culture.

    Literally why social.media stars are called influencers.

    What you are trying to argue is what constitutes influence as it's important to you, and doing so in a way as if someone else is discrediting the impacts those athletes had, which I am not. I don't need a history lesson. But you may need a more open understanding of how impactful athletes are in today's society, even of they aren't attributed to specific movements.



    So by your standards anyone who is popular is influential due to the amount of social media hits they get, So Megan Merkel is the most influential person in the world right now I guess.

    That's why I think your assessment is incorrect and if you don't understand history and how it affected the present and the influence of those that came before Renaldo who laid the foundation for him then it's kinda sad, Pele in our current environment would be bigger I think.
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  • I think you misunderstand and greatly underestimate how influential these people are becoming in a social, cultural, economic, and even political way.

    I very much understand history. I also understand Jackie Robinson and Jesse Owens place in it. They didn't change the world. Neither were firsts. Robinson was not the first professional black athlete. He broke American baseball's color barrier. Amazing fortitude. But not nearly the first person to break a sports color line. Jesse Owens wasn't even the first American black athlete to win gold in track and field. He did it in front of h!tler though.

    These are incredible achievements that will stand on their own as historic.

    But again, if we are going to talk history, let's really do that.

    Back to the present, the influence, yes influence, an athlete like Ronaldo has is not measured only in popularity.
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  • Kobe was a great talent, but he wouldn’t have been nearly as known or influential had guys like Chamberlin, Jabbar, Dr. J., Magic, Bird, Jordan and others not paved the way first.
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  • Uncle Si wrote:I think you misunderstand and greatly underestimate how influential these people are becoming in a social, cultural, economic, and even political way.

    I very much understand history. I also understand Jackie Robinson and Jesse Owens place in it. They didn't change the world. Neither were firsts. Robinson was not the first professional black athlete. He broke American baseball's color barrier. Amazing fortitude. But not nearly the first person to break a sports color line. Jesse Owens wasn't even the first American black athlete to win gold in track and field. He did it in front of h!tler though.

    These are incredible achievements that will stand on their own as historic.

    But again, if we are going to talk history, let's really do that.

    Back to the present, the influence, yes influence, an athlete like Ronaldo has is not measured only in popularity.


    He didn't win A gold he won 4 in that Olympic, dominance and unprecedented at that time.

    I just think there is more to the world then Round Soccer balls who people kick around a field till someone falls down trying to stop them from kicking.

    Never could get into to soccer, sorry I know it's about position and movement, triangle offense was popular when I grew up.

    I know there is a skill set to control a ball and dribble it and put a spin on it when you kick, and position on defense in understanding where a offensive player wants to go.

    Other then that it becomes repetitious to watch for me personally. Or play when I was younger.
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  • chris98251 wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:I think you misunderstand and greatly underestimate how influential these people are becoming in a social, cultural, economic, and even political way.

    I very much understand history. I also understand Jackie Robinson and Jesse Owens place in it. They didn't change the world. Neither were firsts. Robinson was not the first professional black athlete. He broke American baseball's color barrier. Amazing fortitude. But not nearly the first person to break a sports color line. Jesse Owens wasn't even the first American black athlete to win gold in track and field. He did it in front of h!tler though.

    These are incredible achievements that will stand on their own as historic.

    But again, if we are going to talk history, let's really do that.

    Back to the present, the influence, yes influence, an athlete like Ronaldo has is not measured only in popularity.


    He didn't win A gold he won 4 in that Olympic, dominance and unprecedented at that time.


    Right.. he was a great athlete. And he showed up a despotic leader at a time of heightened tensions in Europe.

    He was not the first though. His influence was in that moment. But black athletes were already a part of the Olympic landscape.


    Again, tremendous athlete and his standing up to racism was significant. That's not being argued here.

    And soccer not f ir everyone. I get thst. And I'd never argue that Ronaldo was a more important athlete than an Ali, Robinson, Owens. Certainly not anywhere near as brave.

    His influence represents the way athletes influence society today.
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  • Uncle Si wrote:
    chris98251 wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:I think you misunderstand and greatly underestimate how influential these people are becoming in a social, cultural, economic, and even political way.

    I very much understand history. I also understand Jackie Robinson and Jesse Owens place in it. They didn't change the world. Neither were firsts. Robinson was not the first professional black athlete. He broke American baseball's color barrier. Amazing fortitude. But not nearly the first person to break a sports color line. Jesse Owens wasn't even the first American black athlete to win gold in track and field. He did it in front of h!tler though.

    These are incredible achievements that will stand on their own as historic.

    But again, if we are going to talk history, let's really do that.

    Back to the present, the influence, yes influence, an athlete like Ronaldo has is not measured only in popularity.


    He didn't win A gold he won 4 in that Olympic, dominance and unprecedented at that time.


    Right.. he was a great athlete. And he showed up a despotic leader at a time of heightened tensions in Europe.

    He was not the first though. His influence was in that moment. But black athletes were already a part of the Olympic landscape.


    Again, tremendous athlete and his standing up to racism was significant. That's not being argued here.


    INFLUENCE not necessarily popularity is the topic.
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  • we are probably just stuck on a definition at this point. But it's import to know how influential these athletes are in today's culture because of their popularity. i feel like we are going in circles. You are stating that athletes who have challenged or brought about social change are the only ones making an influence. And while those may the more important influences to us, they are not the most important influences globally, and especially today. Owens, Robinson, Ali were better people.

    Ronaldo, for example, reaches the lives of hundreds of millions of people across the globe. His impact on market society in places where free will is often restricted alone is a huge influence. He has changed the way sports are marketed and managed. He has brought billions to the soccer industry and helped show how profitable all sports can be globally. He has effectively broken social media with his presence, and helped forge that as a new industry.

    And that's without getting into how generous he has been with his millions, his promotion of female sports, and how many millions of children across the world are dreaming of being him, while stuck in the most rancid and horrid and oppressive places on the planet.

    he is no hero, dont get me wrong. But that doesn't mean he hasnt greatly influenced culture and society at a level that previous athletes never had the means to.

    Truth be told, i think he's a bit of a twat. But his influence is almost impossible to quantify.
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  • It's probably because of the time frame in which he came up in but yeah i'd say Kobe was pretty influential.
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  • First of all we need to define influence. You can have influence on a sport or culture without being popular. Or you can have influence on a lot of people but have little influence on the sport or culture. When I made this topic, I was talking more about how many people Kobe reached.

    I see a lot of names like Bird, Pele, etc. Those guys were great, but all corners of the world didn’t know who they were because of the limitations of technology. Because of technology, Kobe was able to reach soccer players in South America and tennis players in Europe like Djokovic. I don’t think Larry Bird had much influence in Europe and South America when he was playing.

    My point is, because of our day in age, everyone has seen and followed Kobe. People in China, South America and Europe. MJ was a huge name but I don’t think all those countries were able to have access to him. And definitely not athletes from the 70’s and before.
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  • Would anyone have asked this question 2 weeks ago and said yes? Obviously a role model for many of todays generation in the nba but in all of sports I'd have to say no.
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  • Cyrus12 wrote:Would anyone have asked this question 2 weeks ago and said yes? Obviously a role model for many of todays generation in the nba but in all of sports I'd have to say no.


    If you asked me two weeks ago I’d have Kobe in my top 5. Not all time, but impact today. Between him, LeBron and Tiger Woods. I can’t even think what NFL player has had much impact. Brady is great, but the guy is pretty vanilla.
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  • People often forget but Mike Tyson was a superstar.

    Let's celebrate more rapists!

    Wasn't Bill Cosby "America's dad"?
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  • Uncle Si wrote:Christiano Ronaldo.

    His global impact and influence is far greater than Kobes was, or what James and Woods is. I think the only question would be is how transformative Ronaldo's influence is to athletes in other sports.

    But Ronaldo's presence is incredible. 200 million instagram followers, has been in a running battle as best player in the world in the world's most supported sport for going on 16 years and across 4 major competitions.

    Not to make it a competition, but I think something like this happening to him would have a far greater impact on the world than what we are seeing with Kobe, or would with a James or Woods.


    Ever?

    I mean if we're talking "influential," then there's an entire laundry list of guys before any modern day player. Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Pele, Jim Brown, Kareem, Gretsky, Jordan, just to name a handful.

    But modern influential? Sure, Ronaldo is certainly at the top of the list with Messi for soccer, and I would put Kobe there. Look no further then what we've seen from all the modern day athletes all over the world the past two weeks remembering Kobe.

    He impacted and influenced a LOT of athletes with his global appeal.
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  • Sgt. Largent wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:Christiano Ronaldo.

    His global impact and influence is far greater than Kobes was, or what James and Woods is. I think the only question would be is how transformative Ronaldo's influence is to athletes in other sports.

    But Ronaldo's presence is incredible. 200 million instagram followers, has been in a running battle as best player in the world in the world's most supported sport for going on 16 years and across 4 major competitions.

    Not to make it a competition, but I think something like this happening to him would have a far greater impact on the world than what we are seeing with Kobe, or would with a James or Woods.


    Ever?

    I mean if we're talking "influential," then there's an entire laundry list of guys before any modern day player. Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Pele, Jim Brown, Kareem, Gretsky, Jordan, just to name a handful.

    But modern influential? Sure, Ronaldo is certainly at the top of the list with Messi for soccer, and I would put Kobe there. Look no further then what we've seen from all the modern day athletes all over the world the past two weeks remembering Kobe.

    He impacted and influenced a LOT of athletes with his global appeal.



    I feel like there's alot of posts that already went over this.

    His overall popularity eclipses any athlete, ever. How that is turned into influence is probably debatable. His influence, and almost all of that is because of his popularity, may not be the groundbreaking social changes of previous athletes, but its nearly impossible to quantify as well. He has literally changed the landscape of the sports market and media.

    Some of the athletes listed above are not global icons. Jackie Robinson did not break the color lines for athletes across the world, or even just in america. He did in baseball. The other guys listed are basically popular athletes. And again, noone in the world is as popular as Ronaldo at the moment (in anything, in any medium). All great athletes who changed their respective sports. Jordan, like Ronaldo, even changed sports economics.

    How is that influential? I tried to lay it out in posts above. But with popularity now being a social mechanism, it's a fairly easy knot to tie.
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  • This age uses popularity, Clicks, and going viral as a measure of influence, that's the biggest issue.

    Take a car, Ford was influential, why because he was the first to create the assembly line, it could have been any number of people but it was him. Now take Tucker, he had the most advanced automobile made at the time but could not get financial backing to mass produce it due to the other manufacturers black balling and locking him out of the market if memory serves here, but they did take his concepts and innovations and apply it to their vehicles, again influential but not as popular.

    The Headlight was influential, it created a explosion of buying of cars as well because now you could drive at night, or the automatic transmission, what I am saying there are levels of influence.

    The Radio I am sure was very popular as a addition but I don't think as much of a influence as the above, probably causes a lot more unwanted births however as people were parking and listening or at least pretending too.
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  • chris98251 wrote:This age uses popularity, Clicks, and going viral as a measure of influence, that's the biggest issue.

    Take a car, Ford was influential, why because he was the first to create the assembly line, it could have been any number of people but it was him. Now take Tucker, he had the most advanced automobile made at the time but could not get financial backing to mass produce it due to the other manufacturers black balling and locking him out of the market if memory serves here, but they did take his concepts and innovations and apply it to their vehicles, again influential but not as popular.

    The Headlight was influential, it created a explosion of buying of cars as well because now you could drive at night, or the automatic transmission, what I am saying there are levels of influence.

    The Radio I am sure was very popular as a addition but I don't think as much of a influence as the above, probably causes a lot more unwanted births however as people were parking and listening or at least pretending too.



    and i think your analogy is flawed because you're looking at the popularity if radios in a car.

    How influential were radios to culture when they were invented?

    It's just an understanding of how vastly influential someone's popularity makes them today. Popularity does not equal influence, it creates it these days.
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  • When I made this thread I meant, how many people Kobe reached. I was amazed to see people from all over the world, and athletes across multiple sports, who were moved by Kobe’s death. He inspired so many people, I just see some names mentioned in here and don’t think they reached as many people.
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  • Jesus Christ took 100's of years to reach people yet he is pretty influential, if your influential your not forgotten and your message will spread internet or no internet, Martin Luther King, Malcom X, h!tler all had influence and still do good and or bad.

    I am just saying influence is influence popularity or not.

    My examples are not sports granted, but I guess Being a Black man playing a Ball game nobody else did when everyone in the league was White is just old news and doesn't matter because it doesn't get enough click and the technology was archaic to send a message.

    A Black man winning 4 Gold medals in a naz** sports event wasn't big either or influential because he other black people won medals and there was only a few Billion people on earth then and we can't reach them all.

    A Soccer player using social network to market himself and a sport though is influential even if a large portion of a 1st world country doesn't even know who he is.

    Kobe will be remembered for somethings, but like many he will not be one of those players that are transcending, great player but Jordon did it first on his level, and La Bron still doing it.

    It does go back to definition of influence.

    Was Obama influential more so then a Roosevelt because he had more clicks?

    Maybe it's the inability to understand what influential and how the last few generations are being programmed to follow a crowd versus individual thoughts and thus are easily influenced and don't even know it. As in subliminal programming, it is a proven fact it is used in advertising and other things.
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  • Yes Chris... noone is disputing whether those people are influential. Again, you confuse and conflate what you deem as an important contribution to how the world works. The condescending tone to go along with it, as if I am discrediting the impact of some of those athletes, is just noise now. Jesse Owens was not the only person who stood up to naz** germany, for example. His stand was just the most popular. You seem to want to believe that is being discredited. It's not. It's just being put in the proper perspective of the conversation. That is what history is. As someone who is trying to use it as part of this conversation, i'd assume you knew more about it. Instead, you're arguing your own contexts as if the rest of the world was anxiously awaiting what every American athlete does. I'd be very interested in the conversation about the impact of Jackie Robinson on sports, not just baseball in the 1950s. Or Owens impact on sports or culture, not just his athletic achievements. Because that's what the conversation is. But if history is a puzzle, you're just working the edges.

    What you are missing is how influential modern athletes are, and how that is based from their popularity. Will Ronaldo bring about some major social change that puts him the annals of history? Probably not.. His influence will be measured in far different ways. The clicks, something you seem to misunderstand, are just the gateway. He has had a major impact on the sports market, which, in turn, has impacted the economies, politics, and culture of millions upon millions along 4-5 continents. His influence here in America is seen in how he forced networks to accept the popularity of a global sport and how now, major sports owners of your favorite teams are owners in soccer teams across the world. That influence is not quantifiable, but if you took a moment to think about it, there far reaches of it are pretty obvious. Ronaldo is not just a soccer player that most of the 1st world has never heard of. He is the most recognized popular figure in the world today, above any singer, politician, etc. Because you don't know that does not make it less true.

    And this is just his influence as a player and superstar. his personal contributions to culture and society are also very significant, but are rarely detailed. Im not advocating a statue for him (there are several already), but he's not simply diving into a Scrooge McDuckian pool. Honestly, again, I don't even like the guy. He's just the perfect version of how modern society is working.

    When you figure out the difference between how you define influence and how it can be defined today, maybe you can step down from that ridiculous soap box.
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  • Uncle Si wrote:
    Sgt. Largent wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:Christiano Ronaldo.

    His global impact and influence is far greater than Kobes was, or what James and Woods is. I think the only question would be is how transformative Ronaldo's influence is to athletes in other sports.

    But Ronaldo's presence is incredible. 200 million instagram followers, has been in a running battle as best player in the world in the world's most supported sport for going on 16 years and across 4 major competitions.

    Not to make it a competition, but I think something like this happening to him would have a far greater impact on the world than what we are seeing with Kobe, or would with a James or Woods.


    Ever?

    I mean if we're talking "influential," then there's an entire laundry list of guys before any modern day player. Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Pele, Jim Brown, Kareem, Gretsky, Jordan, just to name a handful.

    But modern influential? Sure, Ronaldo is certainly at the top of the list with Messi for soccer, and I would put Kobe there. Look no further then what we've seen from all the modern day athletes all over the world the past two weeks remembering Kobe.

    He impacted and influenced a LOT of athletes with his global appeal.



    I feel like there's alot of posts that already went over this.

    His overall popularity eclipses any athlete, ever. How that is turned into influence is probably debatable. His influence, and almost all of that is because of his popularity, may not be the groundbreaking social changes of previous athletes, but its nearly impossible to quantify as well. He has literally changed the landscape of the sports market and media.

    Some of the athletes listed above are not global icons. Jackie Robinson did not break the color lines for athletes across the world, or even just in america. He did in baseball. The other guys listed are basically popular athletes. And again, noone in the world is as popular as Ronaldo at the moment (in anything, in any medium). All great athletes who changed their respective sports. Jordan, like Ronaldo, even changed sports economics.

    How is that influential? I tried to lay it out in posts above. But with popularity now being a social mechanism, it's a fairly easy knot to tie.


    You're selling Robinson short, he broke the color barrier right after WW2, back when the rest of the civilized world still didn't trust the US as global leaders because of our backwards ideals about race. It was Robinson that showed that we were ready to step into the light of being looked up to as a world power.

    I get what you're saying about Ronaldo, he's probably the first athlete to become a global icon and pave the way for how to capitalize and maximize his stardom. So if this thread was about marketing influence? Sure.
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  • Uncle Si wrote:Yes Chris... noone is disputing whether those people are influential. Again, you confuse and conflate what you deem as an important contribution to how the world works. The condescending tone to go along with it, as if I am discrediting the impact of some of those athletes, is just noise now. Jesse Owens was not the only person who stood up to naz** germany, for example. His stand was just the most popular. You seem to want to believe that is being discredited. It's not. It's just being put in the proper perspective of the conversation. That is what history is. As someone who is trying to use it as part of this conversation, i'd assume you knew more about it. Instead, you're arguing your own contexts as if the rest of the world was anxiously awaiting what every American athlete does. I'd be very interested in the conversation about the impact of Jackie Robinson on sports, not just baseball in the 1950s. Or Owens impact on sports or culture, not just his athletic achievements. Because that's what the conversation is. But if history is a puzzle, you're just working the edges.

    What you are missing is how influential modern athletes are, and how that is based from their popularity. Will Ronaldo bring about some major social change that puts him the annals of history? Probably not.. His influence will be measured in far different ways. The clicks, something you seem to misunderstand, are just the gateway. He has had a major impact on the sports market, which, in turn, has impacted the economies, politics, and culture of millions upon millions along 4-5 continents. His influence here in America is seen in how he forced networks to accept the popularity of a global sport and how now, major sports owners of your favorite teams are owners in soccer teams across the world. That influence is not quantifiable, but if you took a moment to think about it, there far reaches of it are pretty obvious. Ronaldo is not just a soccer player that most of the 1st world has never heard of. He is the most recognized popular figure in the world today, above any singer, politician, etc. Because you don't know that does not make it less true.

    And this is just his influence as a player and superstar. his personal contributions to culture and society are also very significant, but are rarely detailed. Im not advocating a statue for him (there are several already), but he's not simply diving into a Scrooge McDuckian pool. Honestly, again, I don't even like the guy. He's just the perfect version of how modern society is working.

    When you figure out the difference between how you define influence and how it can be defined today, maybe you can step down from that ridiculous soap box.


    We get it
    Image

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  • Hawk-Lock wrote:When I made this thread I meant, how many people Kobe reached. I was amazed to see people from all over the world, and athletes across multiple sports, who were moved by Kobe’s death. He inspired so many people, I just see some names mentioned in here and don’t think they reached as many people.


    Kobe was definitely a global influence, he was one of the first ambassadors of basketball to take the game worldwide. That resulted in what you're talking about, soccer clubs in Spain and England having a moment of silence, hockey clubs in Norway and Canada, etc.

    Sports is not regional and myopic anymore, athletes and fans have access 24/7/365 to every sport all the time. Kobe was one of the first superstars to benefit from being seen and appreciated. Even more than MJ.
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  • We get it
    Image

    [/quote]

    This was great!

    By the way, i'm not trying to just push a soccer player here... or the sport.

    Also, per SGT, im not selling Robinson short. I understand his value to the sport and culture. But its impact was not as far reaching world wide as it was just in the US (where many professional black athletes already existed).

    His impact, however, was in breaking a very distinct and protected color line. Less about baseball, and more about what it represented.

    But I digress... these accomplishments are far more historic than Ronaldo. But the question is, who is more influential. And stretching his impact outside of just social change to economy, marketing, inter-regional politics, culture, etc, is important.

    Ronaldo will never be associated with a "movement" and maybe that's why his impact is more difficult to define.

    But im fine if someone wants to say "short answer: jackie robinson"
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  • As great as Kobe was, I'd say Messi, Ronaldo, MJ, TW, and Tom Brady are more influential. Then I'd put Kobe, Jeter, and Tim Duncan.

    These are just athletes I grew up watching btw. Russ will be up there soon.
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  • I sure hope not.
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  • Kobe was influential in teaching the young athletes that you can get away with r@p* if you have enough money.
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  • Jordan, Ruth, Rice, Gretzky, Pele, Woods. My picks for most famous and influential players all-time in 6 major sports.
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  • Kobe wasn't really "that" guy. More of a recluse than ambassador. Not incredibly charismatic. More people respected him on the court than most others, but he didn't have the influence on pop-culture that most of this equals did.
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  • Kobe isn't even close and that's not a knock on him as a player. He trails Jordan and Lebron in his own sport. Ruth, Jordan, Tiger etc. all more of an impact.
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  • austinslater25 wrote:Kobe isn't even close and that's not a knock on him as a player. He trails Jordan and Lebron in his own sport. Ruth, Jordan, Tiger etc. all more of an impact.

    Agree
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  • If you showed me a team photo, I would not be able to point out Kobe prior to his death. I knew his name and that he was a great BB player, but other than that I couldn't tell you much about him.
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  • Just in terms of the NBA, Jordan is more influential.
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