By Barry Janoff
December 30, 2015: Naming the greatest sports star of all time takes in a lot of players, a lot of opinions and a lot of time.
But the No. 1 GOAT is Michael Jordan, not just among his NBA contemporaries, but also among players in the NFL, MLB, soccer, tennis and golf, according to a just-released Harris Poll.
Jordan was also No. 1 the last time Harris took this poll, back in 2009.
The Top Ten GOATS of all time regardless of sport, according to Harris are Jordan, Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali, Serena Williams, Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, LeBron James, Tiger Woods, Tom Brady and Wayne Gretzky.
In the new poll, Jordan was No. 1 among men and women, all ethnic groups (caucasian, African American, Hispanic, Asian), and three of four age groups: Millennials (18-35), Gen X (36-50) and Baby Boomers (51-69).
Babe Ruth was No. 1 among Matures (70+).
Serena Williams also came in No. 1 among all tennis players, and was just one of three women on all the lists, along with sister Venus and soccer icon Mia Hamm.
Despite his recent woes on and off the course, Tiger came in No. 1 among all golfers, followed by Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson and Ben Hogan.
Hockey was not among the sports included in The Harris Poll, which made Gretzky at No. 10 among all players from all sports a tribute to his NHL career.
Pete Rose was named No. 5 among all MLB players of all time despite his lifetime ban from baseball and his exclusion from the Hall of Fame due to gambling.
Missing from the 2009 All-Time list are Brett Favre (previously ranked No. 5), Ted Williams (previously tied for No. 8) and Hank Aaron (previously tied for No. 10).
"Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird were No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, on the all-time NBA list in 2009 but dropped below the Top Five in 2015.
Top Ten: Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali, Serena Williams, Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, LeBron James, Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky.
MLB: Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Pete Rose
NFL: Joe Montana, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Walter Peyton, Jim Brown
NBA: Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, LeBron James, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Golf: Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Ben Hogan
Tennis: Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, Arthus Ashe, Venus Williams
Soccer: Pelé, Lionel Messi, David Beckham, Diego Maradona, Mia Hamn, Cristiano Ronaldo
The Harris Poll was conducted among 2,368 U.S. adults, along with representative over-samples of 511 Hispanic Americans (interviewed in English and Spanish) and 179 Asian Americans (interviewed in English), surveyed online between Sept. 9-17, 2015.
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