When you envision the best professional athletes of all time, how do you see them? In their prime, probably, and wearing the uniform of the team they are synonymous with. Their name most likely is on the back of that jersey, but so is something else. We’re talking about numbers. The iconic athletes are also indelibly linked to a number, or numbers, they wore. We wanted to take a panoramic look across the entire world of sports to find the best athlete to wear every number. For these purposes, is the number they are most known for. That is to say, Michael Jordan did indeed wear 45, but who thinks of him in that number? This is tricky for the athletes who have worn a couple of numbers with semi-regularity — for example, Kobe Bryant. He’s remembered wearing Nos. 8 and 24. As such, we will give shoutouts to various athletes along the way. For now, though, we’re running from zero to 99 to find the best athlete for each number.

Russell Westbrook
For this number, we’re including guys who wore 00, like Robert Parish. The Chief is a Hall of Famer, but Westbrook will be joining him someday. This was really a battle between Russ and his contemporary Damian Lillard. Westbrook has an MVP and averaged a triple-double for three season’s straight. Before he did that, it was an unthinkable feat.

Gianluigi Buffon
Speaking of averaging a triple-double, the last guy to do that before Westbrook was Oscar Robertson, who wore the No. 1. However, that’s usually a goaltender’s number, in hockey and especially in soccer. Basically every starting goalie in the world of soccer wears. No. 1 So with all due respect to hockey’s Terry Sawchuk, we’re going with the Italian soccer legend Buffon, who is arguably the greatest goalkeeper ever, depending on how you feel about Lev Yashin, who played in a different era of the sport.

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