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Football and Basketball are not that different. Both sports require you to be freakishly athletic, strong, and jumping ability is a must. You have to be good with your hands whether you are an offensive lineman trying to fend off a defensive end, a wide receiver trying to grab a pass, or a shooting guard trying to nail a corner three-pointer.
When Glen Davis (we are trying to retire the Big Baby nickname so he can have an easier time growing up) mentioned in an interview with ESPNBoston.com that he would like to play football at some point in his career, my ears perked up. Something about the idea of Davis’ 6-foot-9, 290-pound frame on the football field every Sunday is both hilarious and intriguing. More specifically, he said he would like to make the transition after he becomes an All-Star in the NBA and while I’m not as sure as Davis that he will ever be an All-Star player, I can’t help but be excited at the possibility. So it got me thinking – what other basketball players could make the jump from the court to the gridiron and what positions would they play?
At 6-foot-9, 290-pounds, Davis would be a physical monster on the field. Thanks to his basketball training, Davis is very athletic for his size and while he won’t run a 4.8 40-yard dash, he does have nice footwork. He played high school football in Louisiana as a tailback and defensive end. I can’t see him as anything more than a goal line back, but could you imagine him on the defensive line rushing the quarterback? He would be a handful for any offensive tackle to handle and imagine the batted down passes! He could take out the entire side of the field on a pass play because the quarterback wouldn’t be able to see the field. Picture a 6-foot-2 quarterback trying to throw a five-yard out to Davis’ side. Not gonna happen.
James is the king of the court because of his amazing combination of size, strength, leaping ability and speed. If James were ever to strap on a helmet, he would make for a great tight end. At 6-foot-8 he would already inch out Jerramy Stevens (6’7″) as the tallest tight end in the NFL and if you add in a 44-inch vertical jump you have an unstoppable force that would be a matchup nightmare for any safety or linebacker in the NFL. James would be able to turn the Browns’ offense around for sure.
Kidd already posses the vision and leadership to be a successful quarterback in the NFL and he has enough size (6’4, 210) to stand in the pocket and take a hit or two. He would be a great fit for the west-coast offense because he is a quick decision maker and probably doesn’t have a great arm. He could also fit in a wildcat system because of his speed and athletic ability. He should be receiving a call from the San Francisco or Miami front office shortly.
In his prime, Bruce Bowen was one of the best defenders in the NBA. He was always in someone’s face and was a nightmare to play against, which is why I think Bowen would make for a great coverage linebacker. His 6-foot-7, 200-pound frame is a little thin, but he would bulk up and add 10-15 pounds of muscle before he took the field. He would be able to match up with any tight end in the league and quarterbacks would always have to be aware on him in the middle of the field.
Wade is known in the NBA for weaving through NBA defenses on the court and if he took the football field he would do the same to defensive lines. He is a great finisher so he would break a lot of tackles and his agility would make him a great home run threat. Think of a bigger Edgerrin James, back when James was good.
He played cornerback at the University of Washington and while he is undersized in the NBA (5’9, 180), he is the perfect size for the NFL. He has the ability to get to any ball thanks to his great leaping ability and his speed and tenacity is what you want out of your cornerback.
Shaq-daddy is a very big man. He stands at 7-foot-1, 325 pounds and his standing reach is 9-foot-8, which would make him a great nose tackle on special teams. He still has something left in the tank and would be a great asset to any team in field goal block situations especially.