Proof that people like a steely-eyed winner. If you can pull that off, everything else is incidental or non-consequential.
The closest to him I can think of, in other sports, would be Schumacher the Formula 1 driver, or (more or less unknown outside the UK) Hendry the snooker player. Of similar eras. All they did was win - constantly and relentlessly; they were never there to make friends.