Professional sports fans love handing out nicknames. I think it
While some professional athletes are the best of the best in their sport, they don’t often stay with the same team where they found the most success and triumph. Sometimes they get traded or leave because they’re not as good as they used to be.
- Michael Jordan. After 12 years and 6 championships with the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan came out of retirement for the second time to play with the Washington Wizards in 2001. He joined the roster a year after he was made part owner and President of Basketball Operations for the Washington Wizards. He finished his career in the Wizards in 2003.
- Babe Ruth. While we may know Babe Ruth as one of the greatest New York Yankees of all-time, he finished his career in Boston, but not with the Red Sox, the team that traded him a few years into his career. Babe Ruth closed out his Major League career with the Boston Braves in 1935. Ruth also had a stint as a first base coach with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1938.
- Emmitt Smith. After 12 years and three Super Bowl Championships with the Dallas Cowboys, Emmitt Smith spent his latter years as an NFL running back for the Arizona Cardinals in 2003. It seems that the NFL’s all-time rushing leader lost a step or two at the end of his career.
- Karl Malone. We might first think of Karl Malone as a member of the Utah Jazz. After all, he spent 18 years with the club as one half of their dynamic duo along with John Stockon. However, Karl Malone spent one season with the Los Angeles Lakers to try to win a championship with Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and Gary Payton. Unfortunately, the Lakers lost to the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals in 2004, as Karl Malone retired with no championship rings on his fingers.
- Hakeem Olajuwon. After winning two back-to-back championships with the Houston Rockets, Hakeem Olajuwon closed out his career with the Toronto Raptors. The Rockets traded Olajuwon for draft picks in 2001 when they were trying to re-build a new basketball dynasty.
- Reggie White. Reggie White is one of the NFL’s all-time greatest defensive players. He build an iconic career with the Philadelphia Eagles and then with the Green Bay Packers, as a Super Bowl Champion, when he retired in 1998. White came out of retirement in the year 2000 to play for the Carolina Panthers for only one season, but then retired again.
- Joe Montana. After winning four Super Bowl championships with the San Francisco 49ers, Joe Montana was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993. He led the Chiefs to the AFC Championship Game before he retired after two seasons in 1995.
- Patrick Ewing .Although Patrick Ewing never won an NBA Championship with the New York Knicks, he is considered one of the greatest players of all-time. Sadly, he was traded to the Seattle Supersonics in the year 2000. He spent another year in the NBA with the Orlando Magic before retiring in 2002.
- Wayne Gretzky. When we think of “The Great One” Wayne Gretzky, we think of him as one of the players on the Edmonton Oilers in the 80s and then one of the Los Angeles Kings in the 90s. We usually don’t think of him as someone of the St. Louis Blues or the New York Rangers, but it happened at the end of his career in the late 90s.
- O.J. Simpson. After eight season with the Buffalo Bills, NFL running back O.J. Simpson closed out his career with the San Francisco 49ers after the Bills traded him. He spent two seasons with the 49ers before retiring in 1979. I wonder what he’s been up to since he retired….
- Willie Mayes. It doesn’t get anymore iconic than Willie Mayes. Willie Mayes spent 21 years as a member of the Baseball Giants, first in New York and then in San Francisco. He finished out his Major League career as a member of the New York Mets. Mayes only played one season during 1972 to 1973.