5 NBA stars we'd love to see play in the NFL playoffs
The NBA boasts some of the world's most incredible athletes, which got us thinking about how they might fare inside a different set of lines. Some NBA players played football in high school or college, making them natural fits for the gridiron. But they're not alone. Which basketball players would we most like to see in the NFL playoffs this weekend? Here are the top 5.
Getty ImagesRonald Martinez
LeBron James - wide receiver / tight end
There’s no more obvious crossover for an NBA baller to play in the NFL than with superstar LeBron James. 'I wanna play one NFL game before it’s over,' LeBron tweeted in October 2013. The football fan would likely thrive in the league. The Cavaliers star is a former all-state receiver and an iron man with a dominant body type for football. 'I've seen a little bit of his highlights from high school. He's got the hands, he can run the routes, he's fast enough,' Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant told ESPN. 'He could play in this league if he put it all together.' Just don’t ask LeBron to bet on the pigskin. When he and Draymond Green wagered on the Ohio State-Michigan State game earlier this season, James ended up having to pony up two wine cases.
Getty ImagesRonald Martinez
DeMarcus Cousins - linebacker / defensive line
Imagine being Boogie’s defensive coordinator getting to tell him that not only was he allowed to hit people, but that it was encouraged. Kings center-forward Cousins is one of the most powerful players in NBA’s recent memory. Imagine if he could use his gigantic 6’11” frame and 270-pound power to knock down an opposing quarterback. Cousins also hails from Alabama, where football runs in the water. According to SB Nation, Boogie played only football until he was 13 years old. Had he continued, he could very well have been one of the most feared defensive presences in the NFL. You’d expect him at defensive line, but with that surprising agility he could also succeed playing a bit farther back.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY SportsBill Streicher
John Wall - slot receiver / kick returner
Don’t believe John Wall could make it in the NFL? Check out this video of him racing Olympic gold medalist Aries Merritt. The Wizards' Wall has unbelievably quick feet that would serve him well while juking out the most athletic defender. He could even bust out his infamous 'Dougie' dance to celebrate a touchdown. Imagine Wall in the open field: He’d become a downhill runner, busting zone coverage for score after score with his insane speed. Randy Moss is 6’4” with a 4.25-second 40- yard dash time. John Wall is 6’4” and ran 3/4th of an NBA court (25 yards) in 3.14 seconds. He once told Dan Patrick he could probably run a not--too-shabby 4.50 second 40 yard dash. Wall also apparently caught a 40-yard touchdown thrown by rapper MC Hammer at Robert Griffin III’s football camp in 2014. Put him in, coach.
NBAE/Getty ImagesJoe Murphy
Draymond Green - quarterback
At 6’7” and 230 pounds, Green would be a lethal addition to any offense had he given footballl a chance. After playing tight end and defensive end in high school, Green even played football while in college at Michigan State, on the field for two plays at TE during the 2011 MSU football spring game, where he was whistled for a false start on one play, then missed a catch on the second. Though perhaps he was playing out of position. As a point forward for the Warriors, his excellent decision making and pass-first tendencies would make the 25-year-old a stellar leader for an NFL offense. 'He has outstanding agility and great hands,' Green's high school football coach told MLive.com. 'If he would have continued with football, he would have been a force, no doubt.'
APMarcio Jose Sanchez
Giannis Antetokounmpo - defensive back / anywhere
This experiment could be awkward for the Greek-born basketball player at first. But once the 6-foot-11, 222-pound basketball player got the swing of things, the Bucks' forward would be valuable on just about any roster. Check out this video of Antetokounmpo laying an unnecessarily huge NFL-style tackle on Chicago’s Mike Dunleavy Jr. last season. With an unreal 7’4” wingspan, fans would want to pay good money to see Antetokounmpo attempt to deflect a pass on defense or block a field goal on special teams. He’s also a natural athlete -- Bucks coach Jason Kidd said he could play anywhere on the floor. He can also score a soccer goal from midfield, too.