Stephen A. Smith elbows Rafael Nadal’s heroics while comparing Tom Brady’s GOAT status to Michael Jordan post his retirement

Stephen A. Smith and Mike Francesa debated about top 5 greatest competitors of all-time

Stephen A. Smith elbows Rafael Nadal’s heroics while comparing Tom Brady’s GOAT status to Michael Jordan post his retirement

(Images via USA Today)

Tom Brady‘s retirement after a 23-year-long NFL career has many players and league experts paying tribute to the New England Patriots’ legendary quarterback. In that trend, ESPN analysts Stephen A. Smith compared the 45-year-old QB’s GOAT status to NBA superstar Michael Jordan and legendary Golfer Tiger Woods. During that conversation, he also dismissed Tennis star Rafael Nadal‘s heroics.


During a recent episode of his show First Take on ESPN, Smith was joined by Mark Francesa and Chris Russo to talk about Tom Brady’s retirement. Furthermore, as the show went on they got into a debate about the greatest competitors of all time in sports history. Francesa claimed nobody comes close to Michael Jordan when it comes to being competitive and winning games.

“Michael Jordan is the best competitor I’ve ever seen in any sports, he’ll rip your heart out to win the game, Tiger (Woods) is on the same level, but I think Tom Brady ranks right there as a competitor with Michael Jordan,” said Mike Francesa said about Brady.

And then Stephen A. chimed in with his input saying Bill Russell definitely deserved to be in the conversation about greatest competitors of all time. “When you talk all-time competitors, if you wanna go that list, okay I’ll give Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Tom Brady… we’ve gotta put in the 11-time Champion Bill Russell… no question,” said Smith.


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Stephen A. Smith dismisses Rafael Nadal GOAT claims and compares Tom Brady to Michael Jordan

Tom Brady, Stephen A. Smith Michael Jordan Rafael Nadal Mike Francesa
(Images via USA Today and ESPN)

After agreeing on their Top four, they all named one player who should be considered a great competitor, and Stephen A. Smith suggested NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but Francesa rejected his name by saying “lost a lot of years without Magic (Johnson) in the pros.”

Francesa himself was making an argument for another NBA star Jack Nichols and that’s when Chris Russo chimed in to reveal his favorite for the 5th greatest competitor of all time list. “I’ll give you one, you’re gonna laugh… Rafael Nadal, said Russo. However, Francesa quickly rejected the claim by saying “Get out of here.. listen I have to defer the dog (Chris Russo) on Tennis but I think Jack Nichols is right there, I think he was a prolific winner.”

But Russo didn’t give up on his claim and he replied, “Nadal played every point like he was broke.” And to which Smith replied, “We just gonna ignore Federer and Djokovic?”


However, with no further arguments from anybody else, it looked like they settled on Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, Bill Russell, and Jack Nichols as the Top 5 greatest competitors of all time.

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