More often than not, great athletes don't forge their careers in a vacuum. They not only depend on their teammates to carry them in those moments when they struggle, but they draw in the missing pieces to reach the next level.
This is why wins and losses—championships—are almost inextricable from the individual efforts of the best athletes. Whether in a barroom with friends or in a debate over who deserves to be on a Hall of Fame ballot, if it's between the guy with the hardware and the guy without it...the tangible achievements typically trump all other measures.
It's not always the case—players like Dan Marino and Ted Williams transcended team failures—but it will always be a caveat.
Naturally, the two types of careers often overlap; the greatest athletes are also those with the most impressive accolades and achievements in their sport. However, there are plenty of players from all the major pro sports who certainly earned every trophy and championship but wouldn't necessarily be considered "better" than another with less official honors.
So, let this be my caveat for you: There are plenty of sports legends who have a strong argument to be included in this slideshow over those I featured...but I've got 25 slides and about a million names across the sports universe.
This is why the comments section was invented—let me know who you would have chosen. These are 25 athletes who've won everything.