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If you ever wondered why successful business leaders quote great athletes and coaches, it is because they have become some of the most notable leaders in history. That said, there are a few who stand above even their own peers. Here are the best leaders in sports history.

Mark Messier, New York Rangers

You don’t get to be called the greatest captain in hockey history without reason. Messier was already a seasoned leader before the 1994 playoffs, but that solidified him. On his way to leading the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup in 54 years, he guaranteed a victory against the Devils in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. All he did was deliver said victory while scoring a hat trick along the way.

Tom Brady, New England Patriots

You don’t become the winningest quarterback in NFL history without being able to lead. For nearly two decades, Brady led the Patriots to Super Bowl after Super Bowl – nine of them, to be exact, with six victories. Brady has been the one constant despite lacking weapons and a changing at nearly every position along the way.

Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens

As known as Lewis was for his ferocious play, it was his leadership abilities that became revered. He brought teammates to his insane level of intensity, making the Ravens defense fear for his tenure in Baltimore. He was about more than dancing, he led the defense even when his skills declined. Perhaps the penultimate leader on defense in football history.

Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

“Black Mamba” became a name on par with “His Airness.” Bryant led the Lakers for two decades, winning five NBA titles along the way. He also became known as a ruthlessly competitive person who demanded the best of those around him. While it may have been seen as harsh by some, there is no question that he elevated those around him and brought them to the promised land with him. Other than Michael Jordan, no one had the competitive drive that Bryant had.