Top Five Classiest Professional Athletes
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Top Five Classiest Professional Athletes

Which athlete would you bring home to meet your parents?

Top Five Classiest Professional Athletes

In a sports generation where it seems every other athlete is finding their way into trouble (domestic violence, substance abuse etc.), are there any athletes than have built the perfect resume for class and respect? Here’s my top five classiest professional athletes within the last 10 seasons.

5. Tim Duncan

Who doesn’t respect Timmy? He’s easily the best player in San Antonio’s franchise history and has represented himself as the outright captain of his team. This five-time champion can score off a bank shot better than anyone in the game today and exhibits himself as a role model for many younger stars in the NBA today, including Anthony Davis, Roy Hibbert, and new teammate LaMarcus Aldridge.

He doesn’t hold the largest contract on his team and doesn’t need to make the SportsCenter Top 10 plays list in order to contribute toward his team’s success.

4. Tony Gonzalez

Arguably the best tight end to ever play the game of football, this one of a kind athlete will never have to pay for a dinner in Kansas City and for good reason. The 10-time Pro Bowler is active in his community with his foundation Shadow Buddies and spreads awareness for anti-domestic violence campaigns with the NFL. CBS Sports gobbled him up after he retired from football in 2013. Just give him a ring for his character and wisdom.

3. Jim Thome

After each game-winning homer he’d hit in his career, he would never acknowledge his accomplishment. In a 2007 poll of 464 MLB players, he tied Mike Sweeney for second friendliest player behind Sean Casey. After Thome hit his 600th home run, Twins closer Joe Nathan said, "He is the world's nicest man.” A fan poll in The Plain Dealer in 2003 named him the most popular athlete in Cleveland sports history, which means he ranked higher than Roberto Alomar, Bernie Kosar, and Jim Brown!

2. Nicklas Lidstrom

If the Detroit Red Wings are the model franchise, Nicklas Lidstrom is the model hockey player. Pierre LeBrun explained what makes Lidstrom so likable in his interview with the Red Wing defenseman, his teammates and his coaches in 2010. When asked about his non-ego, Lidstrom replied, "Yeah, I've always kept a low profile…I've done that on purpose, too. It's just the kind of guy I am." He went on to say, "I try to treat people with respect...When people come up to me, for example at the rink when my kids play, I'll always sign an autograph and talk to them. I feel like I'm just a regular guy that's got a great job. I've got one of the best jobs in the world and I've been doing it for a long time. When I'm away from the rink, I enjoy my family and being with my friends." Former head coach Mike Babcock said, “Nick has no ego…So you become an egoless team that's only about winning. No one else on the team is allowed to have an ego, either." The perfect leader and family man.

1. Derek Jeter

Could you have anticipated this guy making this list? When you change the game of baseball with your charisma and style, you're respect from others should be limitless. Even if he wasn’t a five-time champion, we’d all remember his name as the golden boy of baseball. Ladies want him and gentlemen want to be him. If you look closer at any female that was fortunate to interview him, they’re holding back from blushing on camera. The Red Sox gave him a retirement party for God sakes! The New York media couldn't strike him out and he became the role model for today’s young superstars (Mike Trout, Todd Frazier, Troy Tulowitzki). The Dos Equis spokesman has nothing on this guy. In case you’re not convinced, check out this Gatorade advertisement in 2014.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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