Sports

The Best Athletes Who Wore #21  

Ranker Sports
264 votes 53 voters 1.6k views 33 items

List Rules Vote up the top athletes who wore 21 for at least one professional season

The best players to wear 21 on their jersey have helped make it one of the most beloved numbers in sports. There is great variety across the board with players of all sports, from the NHL to soccer leagues, rocking the number. Deion Sanders even showed that one of the few successful and beloved two-sport professional athletes could find success with the number in the NFL and MLB.

Some top NBA players with number 21 on their jerseys include basketball legends like Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, along with rising superstars Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid. Historic baseball players with number 21 jerseys include stars Roger Clemens, Roberto Clemente, and Sammy Sosa. Football and hockey players also found success with the jersey number 21 as their choice. 

So check out the list of famous athletes who wore 21 and help decide who deserves to rank the highest for wearing this iconic jersey number. Vote up your favorite athletes to wear the number 21, then head over and check out some other iconic jersey numbers, including the best players to wear No. 23.

Tim Duncan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Athletes Who Wore #21
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

League: NBA
Years active: 1998-2016
Stats: 1,392 games played, 19.0 points per game, 10.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists

Career Highlights

  • 5× NBA champion (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014)
  • 3× NBA Finals MVP (1999, 2003, 2005)
  • 2× NBA Most Valuable Player (2002, 2003)
  • 15× NBA All-Star (1998, 2000–2011, 2013, 2015)
  • 10× All-NBA First Team (1998–2005, 2007, 2013)
  • 3× All-NBA Second Team (2006, 2008, 2009)
  • 2× All-NBA Third Team (2010, 2015)
  • 8× NBA All-Defensive First Team (1999–2003, 2005, 2007, 2008)
  • 7× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1998, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2015)
  • NBA Rookie of the Year (1998)

Age: 43

Birthplace: Christiansted, United States Virgin Islands

Team: San Antonio Spurs

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Kevin Garnett is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Athletes Who Wore #21
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

League: NBA
Years active: 1996-2016
Stats: 1,462 games played, 17.8 points per game, 10.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists

Career Highlights

  • NBA champion (2008)
  • NBA Most Valuable Player (2004)
  • 15× NBA All-Star (1997, 1998, 2000–2011, 2013)
  • 4× All-NBA First Team (2000, 2003, 2004, 2008)
  • 3× All-NBA Second Team (2001, 2002, 2005)
  • 2× All-NBA Third Team (1999, 2007)
  • NBA Defensive Player of the Year (2008)
  • 9× NBA All-Defensive First Team (2000–2005, 2008, 2009, 2011)
  • 3× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2006, 2007, 2012)

Age: 43

Birthplace: Greenville, South Carolina, United States of America

Team: Minnesota Timberwolves

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Roberto Clemente is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Athletes Who Wore #21
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

League: MLB
Years active: 1955-1972
Stats: .317 batting average, 240 home runs, 1,305 RBIs

Career Highlights

  • 15× All-Star (1960–1967, 1969–1972)
  • 2× World Series champion (1960, 1971)
  • NL MVP (1966)
  • World Series MVP (1971)
  • 12× Gold Glove Award (1961–1972)
  • 4× NL batting champion (1961, 1964, 1965, 1967)

Age: Dec. at 38 (1934-1972)

Birthplace: Carolina, Puerto Rico

Team: Pittsburgh Pirates

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LaDainian Tomlinson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Athletes Who Wore #21
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

League: NFL
Years active: 2001-2011
Stats: 13,684 rushing yards, 145 rushing touchdowns, 4,772 receiving yards, 17 receiving touchdowns

Career Highlights

  • 5× Pro Bowl (2002, 2004–2007)
  • 3× First-team All-Pro (2004, 2006, 2007)
  • 3× Second-team All-Pro (2002, 2003, 2005)
  • NFL Most Valuable Player (2006)
  • NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2006)
  • 2× NFL rushing yards leader (2006, 2007)
  • 3× NFL rushing touchdowns leader (2004, 2006, 2007)

Age: 40

Birthplace: Rosebud, Texas, United States of America

Team: San Diego Chargers

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