Sports
4.2k voters

Overhyped Athletes Who Still Performed

Updated January 27, 2020 53.9k votes 4.2k voters 39.4k views47 items

List RulesOnly superstars who back up the fuss surrounding their career

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.
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  • 1
    LeBron James
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    BirthplaceAkron, Ohio, United States of America

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    Cristiano Ronaldo
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    Usain Bolt
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    Michael Phelps
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    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceTowson, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America

    TeamsNorth Baltimore Aquatic Club

  • 5
    Conor Mcgregor
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    Kobe Bryant
    554
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    Kobe Bryant

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    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplacePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

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    Michael Jordan
    816
    1,275

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    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    TeamsChicago Bulls, Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards, Washington Wizards, North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball

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    Wayne Gretzky
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    BirthplaceBrantford, Canada

    TeamsEdmonton Oilers

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  • 9
    Anna Kournikova
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    Kimi Räikkönen
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  • 11
    Peyton Manning
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    1,193

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    TeamsDenver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts

  • 12
    Maria Sharapova
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  • 13
    Simona Halep
    958
    33

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    BirthplaceConstanța, Sud-Est, Romania

  • 14
    Tiger Woods
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    1,162

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceCypress, California, United States of America

  • 15
    Yelena Isinbayeva
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    NationalityRussia

    BirthplaceVolgograd, Russia

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  • 16
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
    257
    1,094

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, Milwaukee Bucks, UCLA Bruins men's basketball

  • 17
    Kevin Garnett
    224
    898

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceGreenville, South Carolina, USA

    TeamsBoston Celtics, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Timberwolves

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  • 18
    Mark McGwire
    5
    11

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplacePomona, California, United States of America

    TeamsSt. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland Athletics, Oakland Athletics

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  • 19
    Mike Tyson
    257
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    Mike Tyson

    Age: 54

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceBedford-Stuyvesant, New York City, New York, United States of America

  • 20
    Floyd Mayweather Jr.
    226
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    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceGrand Rapids, Michigan, United States of America

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  • 21
    Tim Tebow
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    Tim Tebow

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    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceMakati, Philippines

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  • 22
    Herschel Walker
    188
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    BirthplaceGeorgia, USA, Wrightsville

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  • 23
    Ndamukong Suh
    143
    871

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    BirthplacePortland, Oregon

    TeamsDetroit Lions

  • 24
    David Beckham
    226
    1,117

    NationalityUnited Kingdom

    BirthplaceLeytonstone, London, United Kingdom

    TeamsManchester United F.C., Real Madrid C.F., Paris Saint-Germain F.C., A.C. Milan, LA Galaxy

  • 25
    Alex Rodriguez
    131
    1,009

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceWashington Heights, New York City, New York, United States of America

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