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Emmitt Smith is nowhere on the list, but Barry Sanders is — a rare win for Detroit in these type of national lists.

GQ this week came out with a special issue, listing the 50 greatest living athletes, and Sanders, the legendary Lions running back, was among the group, while Smith, his peer with the Dallas Cowboys, didn’t make the cut.

Why Sanders?

GQ writes: “You can argue all day about who is the greatest running back in history, but you sure as hell can’t argue which one was the most fun to watch. It’s Barry. It will always be Barry.”

Sanders, Jim Brown and two-sport star Bo Jackson were the running backs to make the top 50, a list that, no surprise, was led by Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James.

Sanders recently returned to the Lions in an official role, as a brand ambassador.

Former Lakers and Michigan State great Earvin “Magic” Johnson also made the list, as did short-time Piston Allen Iverson. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, a long-time staple in Ann Arbor during his exhaustive training days, also was honored.

From the baseball world, Angels star Mike Trout was among the top 50, while his frequent MVP foe, Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera, was not.