On planet Earth, 10 percent of the people we live beside are left-handed. Studies have shown that left-handed people tend to be more creative, have higher intelligence levels, and hate spiral notebooks. This past Sunday, James Harden took a big step towards being crowned “King of Lefties” by becoming the all-time lefty scoring leader. He put up 24 points against the Milwaukee Bucks to pass David Robinson for that honor
Last season only 42 players were recorded as being left handed. That’s a pretty small number of southpaw hoopers. But sure enough this small sample size has produced its share of big time talent. Ben Simmons, Mike Conley, D’Angelo Russell, De’Aaron Fox are some of the current top southpaws. Robinson, Bill Russell, Gail Goodrich, and Bob Lanier are the lefties that paved the way.
But who is the best of the best in the rest left handed community?
James Harden – Houston Rockets SG
Anybody who watches basketball has seen what this man can do on the court. The Former Sixth Man of the Year turned NBA MVP and superstar has certainly made his mark on the game. Harden and his notorious beard have set a course for the NBA Hall of Fame with a career stat line of 25.1 PPG, 6.3 APG, and 5.3 RPG. His play has been vital to building the Houston Rockets into a perennial contender in the Western Conference. All that is missing from the 2017-18 NBA MVP’s resume is a championship ring.
David Robinson – San Antonio Spurs C
“The Admiral” held this title for a long time so let’s give him the respect he deserves. David Robinson was the centerpiece of the Spurs before Tim Duncan & Co. got there. Widely regarded as the top prospect in the 1987 NBA draft, Robinson wasn’t able to join an NBA team until ‘89 due to his duties with the Navy. The investment in Robinson paid off handsomely for the Spurs as he played his way into the NBA Hall of Fame. “The Admiral” is widely known as one of the four players to ever record a quadruple double. He put up a completely stuffed the box score with 34 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 blocks. The accolades are stunning for the legendary Spurs big man. 1994-95 MVP, 10x All NBA, 8x All NBA Defensive Team, 2x NBA Champion. David Robinson, veteran, NBA legend, and an elite leftie.
Another lefty who rose from the bench to the Hall of Fame. Learning by playing behind Joe Montana must have made life easy. The 49er’s barely missed a beat when they made the switch from Montana to Young in 1991. Young put up career numbers to the tune of 33,124 yards, and 232 touchdowns. Also known to torch the defense with his legs, he added 4,239 rushing yards, and 43 rushing touchdowns to his name. The two-time NFL MVP and three-time Super Bowl winner states a good case to belong amongst the lefty elites.
Lionel Messi – Barcelona FC LW
One of the best players to ever grace the pitch, Lionel Messi might not have room for this award in his trophy case. 588 goals for club and another 43 goals for country shows “La Pulga” abuses the back of nets. The 10-time La Liga Champion, 8-time La Liga Best Player, 6-time Ballon d’Or winner, 4-time Champions League winner, has nothing left to prove. The only other recent player in his class is Cristiano Ronaldo. If you ever get a chance to turn on a match and watch Messi play, please do it! Catch a glimpse of this crafty playmaker before it’s all said and done.
“The Big Unit” and his cannon for a left arm lived in opposing batter’s worst nightmares. It wasn’t just because he stood at 6-10 and 225 lbs either. Johnson made a hobby out of sitting opposing batters down. Throwing for 303 wins and a 3.29 ERA over a span of 4,135.1 innings, 4,875 players left the batter’s box as just another strikeout on the resume. The 2001 World Series MVP winner has a 101.1 career WAR and a home in the Hall of Fame. Legend has it that the 10x All-Star and 5x Cy Young Award winner was such a freak of nature that Mother Nature had to see for herself.
Phil Mickelson – Pro Golfer
Surely the man known to the golf world as, “Lefty” has to be on here, right? The people’s champ of golf has accumulated 44 career PGA Tour wins and 196 Top 10 finishes. A career made of countless gravity-defying drop shots and a sensational short game. Mickelson has amassed over $96 million in career earnings. With maybe 5-7% of North American golfers being left-handed Phil may have chosen the hardest route possible for his craft. Phil was actually born right-handed! Somewhere along the line “Lefty” decided to train himself to swing a golf club left-handed. Little did he know that left-handed swing would lead him to be one of the PGA’s biggest stars.