As a collective audience, we have been blessed with some of the most entertaining athletes of all time. These athletes aren’t only known for their efforts during games, but also for their shenanigans outside of competition. Every athlete on this list has proven to be among the top of their respective league at some point in their career. Let’s take a look at the Top 10 most entertaining sports athletes of all-time.
10) Bartolo Colón
Coming into the league, Colón was the next hard-throwing starter in the AL Central. He made his MLB debut in 1997, at age 24. Since starting his career with the Cleveland Indians, Colón has played for 11 different MLB clubs. “Big Sexy” was dubbed early in his career by Noah Syndergaard, the right-handed flamethrower. He then went on to make an MLB active roster in 21 total years. Colón is notorious for his random standout outings where his fall-off sinker will sit 86-88 mph, he’ll throw a complete game giving up only one hit, and drive in 3 runs himself to secure the win.
Bartolo Colón has been a true blessing to the baseball world. A touch of comedic relief, an example of longevity, and a velo pouch like no other. This makes him one of the most entertaining sports athletes.
9) Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson
There’s still an argument around the NFL if Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Whether you think he belongs or not, Ocho Cinco knows he does. He was nearly convinced back in 2007, after catching a touchdown pass and then proceeding to slip on a make-shift cream HOF jacket. Johnson has been full of incredible touchdown celebrations, which should be a top ten list in itself. However, there are many reasons why the former Bengal great belongs at number nine. Johnson brought a smile to the fans in Cincinnati with his clever celebrations, but also for his incredible career.
Over his time in Cincy, he tallied over 10,000 receiving yards, 67 touchdowns, and 6 Pro Bowls. Johnson has also taken his on-field personality to his retirement. Ocho Cinco is an avid Twitch user, streaming his FIFA matches. He has played in some pro-am events to prove his skill against the best. Just last year, Ocho Cinco was accepting “in-house” matches where he would go to a fan’s house and play them in FIFA. He will continue to stay in the discussion of the best receivers to play in the NFL, not only for his HOF numbers, but also his HOF personality.
8) Ron Artest / Metta World Peace / Metta Sandiford-Artest
The names alone put the unpredictable Ron Artest at #8. Although, Artest has a few reasons for making the list. One of the most notable ones being the infamous “Malice at the Palace” fiasco. According to Artest, the fight happened because of a bet made by two fans. One betting $50 that the other couldn’t hit Artest with a cup from where they sat. Apparently, these types of things trigger Ron Artest.
“Metta World Peace” as a name is enough to make Artest one of the most entertaining sports athletes. The man changed his name to something that made no sense to the sports world at the height of his career. Unbelievable! He never failed to make the avid sports fan question what’s happening on the court, but Metta was no schmuck when it came to shooting the basketball.
7) Manny Ramirez
With 12 All-Star selections, 9 Silver Sluggers, 2 World Series Championships, and a potential future Hall of Fame induction, Manny Ramirez was born for this list. Man-Ram, Mannywood, and Manny being Manny, are all titles that remind me of watching the baggy-pants wearing left fielder dominate the AL East.
Manny had his fans and his haters, but he was one of the most entertaining guys of his era on the diamond. The man went through a door in the Green Monster mid-inning, took a dump, and came back onto the field. The Red Sox even recorded an out while left field was vacant, with Ramirez nowhere to be found. The game didn’t stop for Manny, nor did he care, it was just “Manny being Manny.” Ramirez once fought the Red Sox travel secretary over a few guest passes to the game. He just wanted his people in the stands, that’s all. Manny Ramirez moments are some that we may never see again in the MLB. That’s why he belongs right here at #7 for most entertaining sports players.
6) Marshawn Lynch
Without question, “Beast Mode” has been a constant character on and off the field. As an elite rusher for over a decade in the NFL, Marshawn definitely made a name for himself running the football. He first caught the media’s attention with his prolific post-game interviews. Whether Lynch rushed for 100 yards and 3 touchdowns during a win or rushed for only one yard per carry during a loss; he refused to answer any questions when interviewed after the game. The running back was stone-faced at all times while the camera was on him. Marshawn was spectacular with the spotlight on him. Even when he was threatened by the NFL with fines for not properly dealing with the media, Lynch responded by mumbling random noises to the interviewers. Legendary!
Featuring one of the most powerful running games in NFL history, he refused to be tackled against the Saints during the 2011 Playoffs. Marshawn recently signed a deal with the iconic “delicacy” in Skittles for his on-field use of the candy. Out of tradition, he would pound handfuls of skittles in between drives. As a kid, Marshawn Lynch’s mother would give him skittles on the sideline of his Pop Warner games. He called them his “power pellets.”
5) Allen Iverson
Allen Iverson is one of the best point guards to ever step on an NBA court. A.I. has a list of awards that distinguish his career including: 11 All-Star selections, 4 scoring titles, Rookie of the Year, MVP, and a Hall of Fame induction. The 6-foot point guard from Hampton, Virginia made a name for himself with the 76ers without question. But there are some things that made AI…well…AI.
Whether it was using Shaq’s shoe as a phone at the 2000 NBA All-Star game or making Tyronn Lue look like he fractured his ankles; Iverson has plenty of moments that put him on this list. One thing that made him stick out was his look. He made cornrows and neck tattoos cool. Iverson changed fashion in the NBA and brought his own style to a giant platform. The most iconic AI moment has to be the “practice” interview. “We talkin’ bout practice” is still used in conversation daily, all over the map. He’s not only iconic for his outstanding career, but also for his true ability to entertain. This ability makes him arguably the most entertaining sports player.
4) Rob Gronkowski
Rob Gronkowski comes in at #4 on the top 10 sports list. Gronk is the ultimate bro. I truly believe if you were to sit down with him and have a beer, it may take a hot turn for a case race that he’ll end up winning. Gronk has never been shy about sharing his personal life with the world, and the world could never get enough of it. I still think that having a Keeping Up with the Gronkowskis show would kill it on E!
Gronk played his college ball at the University of Arizona, so his free time involves nothing but a good time. He’s shown his face at many spring break events, music festivals, and celebrity parties. He also recently started his own annual party on a cruise for 2,500 fans. The Gronk’s Party Ship is something everyone should try to be a part of. Gronkowski may party hard off the field, but he plays even harder on the field. He has supplied his fans with 5 Pro Bowl appearances, 4 All-Pro listings, and of course, 3 Super Bowl victories with his partner in crime Tom Brady.
3) Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley has continued his personality from his playing career, over to his broadcasting career. Barkley’s career consists of 11 All-Star appearances, 11 All-NBA listings, an MVP award, and the induction into the Hall of Fame in 2006. He is always looking to pick on someone. Recently, Shaq has been his go-to target.
Barkley shows his personality the most on his talk show ‘Inside the NBA,’ with his co-hosts Shaquille O’Neal, Ernie Johnson Jr., and Kenny Smith. This show not only brings you insider information from four experts, but also a lighter side with how they treat one another. If you haven’t tuned in, I highly suggest doing so. Barkley’s character is exposed on the golf course. Watching Charles swing a golf club is just absurd. The athleticism for Charles Barkley may have come and gone since he hung up the jersey in 2000, but he still makes a strong case for the most entertaining sports athlete.
2) Shaquille O’Neal
Shaq is one of a kind when it comes to “off the court” personalities. O’Neal has made his mark on the NBA and is known as the “funny guy” around the league. He’s made his mark all over the entertainment world. Appearing as a boxer (actually fighting), an actor, a DJ, and recently dabbling a bit in wrestling; displaying his efforts against Charles Barkley on the set of Inside the NBA. Shaq has been touring music festivals as a DJ under the name DJ Diesel. There’s no one like him off the court, making him one of the most entertaining sports athletes out there.
If basketball didn’t work out for Shaq, there’s no doubt he would’ve made his name working somewhere in the entertainment world. Not only is Shaq one of a kind off the court, he was also just as special on the court. The 15-time All-Star, 4-time NBA Champ, 3-time All-Star MVP, 2-time Scoring Champion, and NBA MVP Hall of Famer was a force to be reckoned with in the paint. Shaq’s career speaks for itself on and off the court.
1) Dennis Rodman
For most of you that made it all the way to the end, there’s a clear trend as to where the list was headed. When it comes to “entertainment,” Dennis Rodman takes the cake and then some. Dennis “The Menace” Rodman posted quite the career with 5 Championships, 2 All-Star appearances, 1 Dress, 78 different hair colors, 2 Defensive Player of the Year awards, and a Hall of Fame presence. “Rodzilla,” “The Worm,” and “El Loco” are all names that represent why Dennis deserves the #1 spot on this top 10 sports list. Rodman is possibly the best defensive player to ever play the game, and his craziness made him who he was.
Rodman has done things that no athlete will ever touch in the form of entertainment. He continues to amaze the media with his unfathomable lifestyle. More power to Rodman for being himself. When on the stage, it was entertainment at its best. Rodman will go down as one of the most entertaining sports players of all time.
Rodman even traveled to North Korea to hang out with Kim Jong-un. No AMERICAN can do that… but Rodzilla did… unbelievable… a fable… a folk tale.