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Top 25 New York sports stars for 2017

If any city knows a star when it sees one, it is New York, and that goes double for New York-area sports fans. The best part is that we have plenty of them on our area fields, courts and rinks.

To celebrate, Newsday has ranked the top 25 of the moment for your reading – and arguing – pleasure.

Some rules: Current athletes only, so no coaches, Knicks team presidents or sports talk radio hosts. Only players based east of the Hudson, other than our two local NFL teams.

And remember, it’s about star power, not career accomplishments or current playing ability.

By that standard, No. 1 on the list has to be . . .

25. Jack Coan, Sayville quarterback

Shout-out to all the local athletes in leagues
Photo Credit: Bob Sorensen

Shout-out to all the local athletes in leagues where you don't get paid to play. The Wisconsin-bound Hansen Award winner is a worthy representative after his Long Island-record-breaking 9,787 all-time passing yards and 128 touchdown passes.

24. CC Sabathia, Yankees pitcher

The big guy clearly is on the downside
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

The big guy clearly is on the downside of his career, but let us not forget his World Series ring and ALCS MVP in New York, and that Cy Young he won in Cleveland.

23. Victor Cruz, Giants wide receiver

Cruz was the most popular man in blue
Photo Credit: Brad Penner

Cruz was the most popular man in blue before Beckham showed up - and Cruz's injuries piled up. He might be on his way out, but there still are thousands of No. 80 replica jerseys walking around.

22. Curtis Granderson, Mets outfielder

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Elsa

"The Grandy Man" still is productive and still is an engaging personality and a community-minded man. He won his second MLPBA Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award in 2016.

21. Tina Charles, Liberty center

The Queens native, who was the WNBA MVP
Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Queens native, who was the WNBA MVP for 2012, finished second in MVP voting this past season after averaging a career-high 21.5 points and 9.9 rebounds.

20. Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees pitcher

The language barrier has limited the visibility of
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

The language barrier has limited the visibility of the staff's ace starter. Well, sort of. Japanese reporters and fans still flock to him.

19. Jason Pierre-Paul, Giants defensive end

JPP drew national attention last year after a
Photo Credit: Newsday / Mike Stobe

JPP drew national attention last year after a July 4 fireworks accident that damaged his right hand. This season, he proved he still can perform.

18. David Villa, NYCFC forward

Villa earned the Landon Donovan MVP Award from
Photo Credit: Steven Ryan

Villa earned the Landon Donovan MVP Award from MLS this season after scoring 22 of NYCFC's league-best 62 goals. 'Nuff said.

17. Derrick Rose, Knicks guard

Sure, the guy probably is just passing through
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Sure, the guy probably is just passing through these parts, but he remains a former NBA MVP, once ruled the Chicago sports stage and seems to have something left in his tank.

16. David Wright, Mets third baseman

Like Revis, Wright's fame derives from past achievements.
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Like Revis, Wright's fame derives from past achievements. But if he can get himself right physically, perhaps he can return to his elder statesman role in the locker room.

15. Darrelle Revis, Jets cornerback

Revis' struggles are old news; it hardly seems
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Brett Carlsen

Revis' struggles are old news; it hardly seems worth criticizing him for his late-career fade anymore. But his name still is revered among defensive backs, and he is Canton bound.

14. Brandon Marshall, Jets wide receiver

The Jets are starting a youth movement that
Photo Credit: Lee S. Weissman

The Jets are starting a youth movement that might not include Marshall, but he remains useful on the field and an insightful talker off it. He is a lock to be a star TV analyst.

13. Jeremy Lin, Nets guard

Yes, Linsanity is ancient history, but the man
Photo Credit: . / Adam Hunger

Yes, Linsanity is ancient history, but the man in the middle of it is an effective player with a staunchly loyal following. He is the only Net capable of attracting web-click-able attention.

12. Jacob deGrom, Mets pitcher

After a breakout season in 2015, deGrom had
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

After a breakout season in 2015, deGrom had an uneven 2016 that included injury issues. But he's still as gritty as they come and, like OBJ and Thor, that hair!

11. John Tavares, Islanders forward

Too high for an Islander? No. He's one
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Too high for an Islander? No. He's one of the best players in the world, is the face of the franchise and in May delivered a playoff series victory for the first time since 1993.

10. Gary Sanchez, Yankees catcher

No pressure, young man, just keep up your
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

No pressure, young man, just keep up your pace of 20 home runs in 53 games from the final two months of last season and we'll move you up next year. Deal?

9. Matt Harvey, Mets pitcher

A year ago
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

A year ago "The Dark Knight" would have been higher on the list, of course, but his star has dimmed for the moment as fans wait to see whether shoulder surgery gets his career back on track.

8. Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers goaltender

Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

"King Henrik" has been at the center of the Rangers' post-lockout revival, with 10 playoff berths in 11 seasons. He also is a crossover star known for his fashion sense and model-ready looks.

7. Kristaps Porzingis, Knicks forward

Anthony is bigger nationally, but local fans see
Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Anthony is bigger nationally, but local fans see a franchise-defining keeper in the 7-3 Latvian, who speaks four languages - five if you count trash talk. It was clear from draft day on that New York would not intimidate him.

6. Carmelo Anthony, Knicks forward

Melo may not be everyone's cup of tea,
Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Melo may not be everyone's cup of tea, but he still can score and he still can move the media needle when he is in the news, be it for taking a stand on a social issue or taking a stand with team president Phil Jackson.

5. Aroldis Chapman, Yankees pitcher

He is the Bronx version of Cespedes, a
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

He is the Bronx version of Cespedes, a Cuban with an electric baseball weapon - in his case a 100-mph-plus left arm. The fact he helped the Cubs win a World Series in his three-month side trip to Chicago only adds to his lore.

4. Noah Syndergaard, Mets pitcher

Before the 2016 season,
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Before the 2016 season, "Thor" was an emerging star but still behind Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom on the Mets' depth chart of ridiculously talented young pitchers. Not anymore. The hair adds to the package. So does his must-follow social media humor.

3. Eli Manning, Giants quarterback

As future Hall of Famers with two Super
Photo Credit: AP / Bill Kostroun

As future Hall of Famers with two Super Bowl MVP awards go, "Easy E" is as low-key as sports stars come, and it has served him well over 13 seasons in the New York spotlight. No current area athlete can match his resume.

2. Yoenis Cespedes, Mets outfielder

Such is the power of Cespedes' appeal that
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Such is the power of Cespedes' appeal that it largely speaks for itself, in that the Cuban-born slugger talks to English-speaking reporters and fans only through a translator. He is Reggie Jackson, minus the mouth. But his bat is plenty loud enough.

1. Odell Beckham Jr., Giants wide receiver

From his signature, two-toned hairdo to his elaborate
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Al Bello

From his signature, two-toned hairdo to his elaborate end zone dances to his volatile personality to his whining at officials to his sparring with cornerbacks to his one-handed catches to his seemingly unstoppable slant-and-go routes to his celebrity friendships to his preternatural, off-the-charts, irresistible talent, charisma and je ne sais quoi, let's face it: OBJ is the guy. Next question?

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