Sports

30 Sports Superstars Who Were Impossible To Replace

Darren - August 20, 2021
Sports

30 Sports Superstars Who Were Impossible To Replace

Darren - August 20, 2021
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

8. Chris Paul

The New Orleans Hornets knew that it was impossible to replace Chris Paul. They were also aware of the risk of him walking away for nothing. That’s why they tried to trade him to the Lakers but the NBA quashed that attempt. Paul found himself in Los Angeles but with the Clippers. The Hornets suffered a miserable malaise after his departure.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Paul went to the playoffs six times with the Hornets but they missed out after he left. Then, they rebranded as the Pelicans while Paul became one of the NBA’s most ruthless players. He was an 11-time All-Star and made the NBA Finals with the Phoenix Suns. On the other hand, the Pelicans wallowed in mediocrity.

Mandatory Credit: WalesOnline

7. Gareth Bale

Bale was magnificent in 2012-13 for Tottenham Hotspurs. He developed into one of the most exciting forwards in Europe and inspired them on an exciting Champion’s League run. Then, Real Madrid swooped and made him the most expensive player on the planet. The Spurs banked over $100 million but wasted most of it.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

The team signed seven players that summer because Spurs realized that it was impossible to buy one replacement. However, only Christian Eriksen was an unequivocal success. The likes of Roberto Soldado and Paulinho disappointed the fans because they arrived with big reputations. Meanwhile, Bale won four Champion’s League titles in Madrid.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

6. Dennis Rodman

‘The Worm’ was magnificent for the Detroit Pistons. While he was an extremely eccentric personality and volatile with his other franchises, he was indispensable in Detroit. Rodman built a reputation as one of the best defensive players in the NBA. The five-time champion was also a two-time Defensive Player of the Year.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, he led the league in rebounds for a stunning seven successive years. When he left Detroit for the San Antonio Spurs in 1993, he made it impossible for them to replace him. Rodman became a parody of himself after he retired. But there is no questioning his brilliance as an NBA athlete. In the end, that’s what counts.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

5. Peyton Manning

Manning was better for the Colts than he was for the Broncos. But the Denver Broncos arguably missed him more when he finally departed. They have found it impossible to replace him properly and brought in some terrible quarterbacks in the process. The likes of Paxton Lynch and Trevor Sieman were never even in the same hemisphere of quality.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Joe Flacco and Case Keenum were starters in Denver but found themselves on the bench with other franchises. In 2019, they settled on Drew Lock but time will tell how that works out. A franchise quarterback is the most coveted prize in the draft but very difficult to secure. Maybe one day they’ll find a replacement for Manning.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

4. Kevin Garnett

It’s fair to say that Garnett was the most indispensable athlete in the history of Minnesota sports. Yes, even above the likes of Randy Moss. Garnett left on bad terms but it was impossible for the Timberwolves to replace him. He was their only truly elite talent and that’s why they retired his jersey number despite everything.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The Wolves went to eight straight playoffs with Garnett on their roster but suffered a decline without him. Yes, the team struggled during his last couple of seasons but they couldn’t replace him when he went to the Nets. The Hall of Famer forged his qualities in Minnesota and left them in a state of misery when he blossomed in New Jersey.

Mandatory Credit: Bleacher Report

3. Lionel Messi

It’s impossible to replace the greatest soccer player on the planet. After Messi left Barcelona in 2021, the club found itself facing this eventuality. The Argentine superstar was a six-time World Player of the Year and won four Champion’s League titles with the club. However, they finally parted ways after the club fell into financial turmoil.

Mandatory Credit: AS English

Barcelona was unable to register all of its players because they couldn’t meet the Spanish League’s spending regulations. This left them facing the inevitability of losing a star. Then, Paris Saint-Germain offered to take him to France and they reluctantly allowed him to leave. It was a shame because he spent his entire career at the Nou Camp up to that point.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

2. Tom Brady

After 20 seasons, Brady finally departed Foxborough in 2020. The legendary quarterback joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but left a gaping hole in the Pats’ offense. Bill Belichick decided to bring in Cam Newton as a short-term fix. However, the former NFL MVP had a mixed season and the Patriots missed the playoffs.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, Brady won an unprecedented seventh Super Bowl with Tampa. Incredibly, they also became the first franchise to win the coveted prize in their own stadium. New England found it impossible to play the same way without their icon. They drafted Mac Jones at the end of the season but he’s not Brady.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

1. Michael Jordan

Jordan was the face of the Chicago Bulls for a decade. It’s no accident that they fell apart after he left for Washington. The legendary NBA icon won six championships during his time in the Windy City. He had an amazing career and changed what it means to be a sports superstar. But when he left, the Bulls went into a severe decline.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

They were never going to replace Jordan because he was a generational talent. However, their front office mismanaged the franchise for almost two decades. The team became a ghost of itself and never looked like a contender. They could have prepared for life without Jordan and Scottie Pippen but they didn’t plan for the future.

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