Overhyped athletes who still performed represent a special breed of athletes who captured the attention of fans and critics around the world with their potential then went on to live up to the expectations and often exceed them. These athletes were expected by so many to dominate their respective sports and they did just that.
These fine football, basketball, baseball, hockey, golf, boxing and Olympic athletes had all eyes upon them as they were projected by experts to have long and successful careers filled with titles, awards and praise. Many did that and then some, going down as some of the best to ever play the game.
A great deal of these athletes were taken first overall in their respective professional drafts, such as star NHL players Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, who were taken first in the NHL Draft in 2004 and 2005, respectively, or NBA Slam Dunk Champion Blake Griffin, who was picked first in the 2009 NBA Draft. Professional football players are right up there as well, such as 2011 first overall pick Cam Newton who made a quick impact on the Carolina Panthers in the National Football League.
Others not only captured the attention of prospective professional teams but also entire countries as they represented their homeland on the world's stage in the Olympics. Michael Phelps is perhaps the best example of a highly hyped athlete who lived up to the expectations. The swimmer shattered numerous personal, Olympic and world records as he won eight gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.
All of these athletes accomplished what so many up and comers aspire to do. They made headlines first for their potential, then became household names for their performance and many went on to become legends of the sport. Of course some went on to wait too long to retire
but for the most part, these athletes had nearly flawless careers and it does not get much better than that.