In honor of the Royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, it’s time to decide who will become the next “royalty” in sports. All-timers Sidney Crosby, Tom Brady, and Mike Trout are among the people that are already sports royalty, but these seven could be next.
Leading up to the NFL draft, there was a lot of praise for Saquon Barkley, with many people calling him the best running back prospect in recent memory. Barkley couldn’t have landed in a much better spot with one of the better NFL franchises, and the spotlight will be on him in New York with the Giants. He still hasn’t played in an NFL game, but Barkley has all the potential in the world to eventually be crowned as not only the best running back in the league, but the best overall player in the league.
Back at the end of last millennium, Scott Frost helped Nebraska go 13-0 and win a national title during his senior season. Now, he returns to Lincoln as the head coach of the Cornhuskers and is looking to get his alma mater back to glory. I believe if Frost wins it all with Nebraska, he’d be the first person to win the title as a quarterback and then as the head coach. If that’s not royalty, I don’t know what it.
There are a few young quarterbacks that could claim being “next” in the NFL after Tom Brady eventually retires (if he ever retires). Carson Wentz (who already has a ring), Jared Goff, Derek Carr, Deshaun Watson, and a few other guys could also become sports royalty. However, if Jimmy Garoppolo does it for the 49ers, he’d be joining a prestigious group with Joe Montana and Steve Young, which is certainly football royalty.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s family is already baseball royalty, so he might be the easiest choice in all of sports. His father, Vladimir Guerrero, hit 449 career home runs with a .318 average during his MLB career, and Vlad Jr. is lighting it up in the minor leagues. If Vlad Jr. carries the mantle, the family would challenge the Griffeys and Ripkens for baseball’s best house.
Already a star and near-heroic figure in Japan, Shohei Ohtani had a head start on baseball royalty internationally. Ohtani is such a unique player, that he deserves to be considered in the upper echelon of sports if he keeps it up. He’s already doing things that no one thought would ever happen again, performing as a top pitcher and hitter at the same time, but some jewelry in the form of championship rings would be huge.
If LeBron James is to be considered “King James”, Ben Simmons being nicknamed “Fresh Prince” is fitting. On the court, Simmons evokes the great Magic Johnson, who is most certainly basketball royalty and might be the second-best player in NBA history behind Michael Jordan. Simmons carries himself coolly and regally on the court, not letting things get to him, so his demeanor is definitely that of a king. Also, the monstrous point guard is confident he’ll have hands filled with rings before his career is over.
The NBA is a player-driven league, but Brad Stevens has been able to turn that upside down and has people questioning whether he is the league’s most valuable entity. Celtics GM Danny Ainge has done an outstanding job of giving his head coach talented young players to work with, but Stevens’ gameplanning and in-game adjustments are elite. And Stevens is only 41, so it’s certainly possible he wins several titles before he’s done coaching. He might even fill up a hand or two with the rings that are so key to sports royalty.