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Joe Bryant

Could LeBron James Have Been An NFL TE?

LeBron James as an NFL TE would be...  

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14 minutes ago, Deamon said:

We don't even know how his body would be taking hits.  He's so tall that guys could hit him mid hair when he goes to catch a pass and who knows how he would take that.  He would be the 3rd tallest player in NFL history at ANY position.  I think there's a reason super tall guys like this aren't in the league. 

Well if his flopping skills during his Miami days was any indication, he'd be good for a few BS DPI calls.

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Would Lebron be the most likely NBA player to play in the NFL?  Are we using him because he's a big name or can you think of any other single player that might be a better fit?

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1 minute ago, Deamon said:

Would Lebron be the most likely NBA player to play in the NFL?  Are we using him because he's a big name or can you think of any other single player that might be a better fit?

Kyle Rudolph could play in the NBA and dominate. No joke.

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13 minutes ago, rockaction said:

I was concerned he'd be like Ed "Too Tall" Jones, too, but I'm willing to overlook a bit in favor of the fact that he's an athletic freak that can run point at 6'9" in the NBA if he wants to. 

That was the guy I thought of. DE would be more sensible than TE, as it lessens the wear and tear that a tall guy with such a huge strike zone would take hits wise.

LeBron would be a batted pass machine, and huge threat on FG's. 

I think LeBron could have been an elite player, but even if he was the best TE or DE in NFL history, he still wouldn't have made the impact he did as a basketball player. I mean are Tony Gonzalez or Reggie White bigger names form a historical standpoint than LeBron James?

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Just now, Heatman said:

Kyle Rudolph could play in the NBA and dominate. No joke.

Yes.  But I mean are there other NBA players that might be better NFL players than Lebron.

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3 minutes ago, Deamon said:

Would Lebron be the most likely NBA player to play in the NFL?  Are we using him because he's a big name or can you think of any other single player that might be a better fit?

I mean, Charlie Ward and Ronald Curry were both capable of both. 

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3 minutes ago, Deamon said:

Would Lebron be the most likely NBA player to play in the NFL?  Are we using him because he's a big name or can you think of any other single player that might be a better fit?

Allen Iverson has Michael Vick like HS football tape.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, travdogg said:

I mean, Charlie Ward and Ronald Curry were both capable of both. 

Nice.

Again though, I'm talking current NBA players that would have as good of a chance at an NFL career as Lebron.

EDT:: Talking mainly about body rather than if they previously played football.  Are we using Lebron because he has the body that by far translates better to the NFL than any other NBA player today?  Or is his big-name appeal driving this thread more so than a "could _______ play in the NFL based on his body"

Edited by Deamon

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2 minutes ago, Iceman03 said:

Hmm... agree to disagree on that one. Definitely not arguing against Lebron’a greatness as an athlete or basketball player. I just don’t think it’s anywhere near just an adjustment. While difficult to quantify I’d say his chances of success in the NFL would probably be sub 50% by a large margin. Would we be giving this leniency to Usain Bolt? 

Bolt is a totally different situation.  Running track does not necessarily translate to overall athleticism.  Bolt may have exceptional athleticism but i don't know enough to comment on him.   Can he catch?  Can he absorb contact?  Box out for a reception?  Use body control to be in position to receive a pass?  None of that translates from running 100m in a straight line.

 

However as we have seen with Gonzo,  Gates and Graham there is a translation of skills from basketball to the TE position.  It has been done before by athletes that do not have the same athleticism as James.  It would take time but in his prime if James wanted to go full into football he has the tools to have succeeded.  No guarantee he would but the tools are in place.

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Just now, Gally said:

Bolt is a totally different situation.  Running track does not necessarily translate to overall athleticism.  Bolt may have exceptional athleticism but i don't know enough to comment on him.   Can he catch?  Can he absorb contact?  Box out for a reception?  Use body control to be in position to receive a pass?  None of that translates from running 100m in a straight line.

 

However as we have seen with Gonzo,  Gates and Graham there is a translation of skills from basketball to the TE position.  It has been done before by athletes that do not have the same athleticism as James.  It would take time but in his prime if James wanted to go full into football he has the tools to have succeeded.  No guarantee he would but the tools are in place.

Bob Hayes and James Jett had success transitioning. Now those guys aren’t modern era but not completely out of the same suggestion criteria.

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13 minutes ago, Iceman03 said:

He is far from huge, especially talking about NFL TE. It’s one of, if not, the most brutal position on the field. His body composition is closest, as stated previously, to Mike Gesicki. Who people have explicitly called small for a TE and someone who does not play inline. What you are doing is the hall pass argument I’m talking about. 

Except not all TE are equal. If you’re looking at him as a blocking TE, you’re not being fair in answering the question.

If considering LeBron as a “Move” TE, he’s a great build other than the height (which is questionable as a detriment) 

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10 minutes ago, Iceman03 said:

Hmm... agree to disagree on that one. Definitely not arguing against Lebron’a greatness as an athlete or basketball player. I just don’t think it’s anywhere near just an adjustment. While difficult to quantify I’d say his chances of success in the NFL would probably be sub 50% by a large margin. Would we be giving this leniency to Usain Bolt

Regarding the first bolded, I guess we can, sure. Like Anarchy99 said, it's really just a guess because that's all we have. I admit it's just speculation because LeBron never played football in college, generally a great indicator of his future success (save Gates, who is a really rare bird).

As for the second bolded, I don't think so. I think there are transitions from track that are a bit more difficult. Our old friend Zeno Razon would have pointed that out in the converse, and I'm sure it goes for the stated, too.

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1 minute ago, Iceman03 said:

Bob Hayes and James Jett had success transitioning. Now those guys aren’t modern era but not completely out of the same suggestion criteria.

true.  And I am not saying bolt couldn't.  I am saying basketball skills have more of a direct transfer to football skills (catching the ball, boxing out, keeping body control while absorbing contact, change of direction, etc).  100m translates for speed (maybe due to pads) but doesn't show hands, body control through contact etc.  

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5 minutes ago, Deamon said:

Would Lebron be the most likely NBA player to play in the NFL?  Are we using him because he's a big name or can you think of any other single player that might be a better fit?

I think Lebron is the most unique guy with that size, power and speed I've ever seen on an NBA court. That's why I am using him.

But I think we could rattle off a ton of other players, not all tall and in fact the guy I'd say most likely if we are not using current players is Iverson.  For sure he'd need to bulk up, but I think he'd have been an incredible cover corner.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Iceman03 said:

Bob Hayes and James Jett had success transitioning. Now those guys aren’t modern era but not completely out of the same suggestion criteria.

Renaldo Nehemiah, too. But those guys are few and far between. Bullet Bob was sui generis. 

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10 minutes ago, travdogg said:

I think LeBron could have been an elite player, but even if he was the best TE or DE in NFL history, he still wouldn't have made the impact he did as a basketball player. I mean are Tony Gonzalez or Reggie White bigger names form a historical standpoint than LeBron James?

No, certainly not. I totally agree with this. It's just a spitballing exercise. That we're even undertaking spending time on it is testament to his athletic prowess. Most guys would just be a simple "no."

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I think Shaq could have made for a pretty great OT. Unlike most tall basketball guys, he had plenty of bulk, and obviously had the foot quickness. He also had a gigantic wingspan, which likely would have overcome most leverage disadvantages he'd have had at his height, as most guys would never be able to make it into his pads. 

The only concern I really have with Shaq, would have been injuries, especially with so much leg for bodies to fall on. From a skill set standpoint though, I think he'd have excelled.

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For what it’s worth, Al Davis would have taken Bolt 1.01

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On the flip side  of this discussion I don't think many NFL players could be NBA players, even Ruggs with those crazy dunks had some pretty small stats in high school,  but if anyone has not heard Demarcus Cousins say the best dunk he ever saw in his life was in high school by Julio Jones who was on the opposing side. Said the place went so crazy it stopped the game for like 10 minutes. No one can find video on this, Cousins thinks the guy Julio dunked on destroyed it, but we got audio:  Julio Jones dunking in HS

 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, menobrown said:

Ruggs with those crazy dunks had some pretty small stats in high school

This sounds like his football career.

/took Ruggs 1.06 in dynasty draft two weeks ago

Edited by rockaction
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James has the body type but not the mentality for the NFL.  Todays NBA players are much softer than the 80s, 90s NBA players.

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27 minutes ago, Summer Wheat said:

James has the body type but not the mentality for the NFL.  Todays NBA players are much softer than the 80s, 90s NBA players.

Anthony Mason just smiled somewhere at this post.

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Just now, spider321 said:

LeBron is way too soft for football, even with the modern rules.

I think people are underestimating his disdain for contact within a specified rule setting. He's not soft, necessarily, he just wants the rules enforced. Of course, in his favor. But that would be the argument against him being "soft" which sounds more like a drive/competitiveness/playing through injury thing.

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1 hour ago, menobrown said:

Well I phrase it was superstar TE OR superstar defensive end, not both.

But yes I believe he could have one of those things if he was inclined.

Thanks. Yeah, I didn't mean both TE and DE.

It's a fascinating discussion and this has been a good one. Personally, I think Lebron James would be average at best as a TE. I just think there's so much beyond physical traits that make a great football player. 

And for as low as I'd put his chances of being a great TE, I'd put his chances of being a great defensive end about 100x lower. My worry is he doesn't have enough "football" mentality to play TE. I'd be absolutely shocked if he had the football mentality for defensive end. I don't think people realize how exceptional those guys are. 

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Posted (edited)

This feels a little like the classic FFA thread where the 40 year old weekend athlete guy thought he could stay in the ring with Manny Pacquiao because he was 6" taller and 50 pounds heavier. There's a LOT more than physical ability at this level. Having the physical ability is just the price of admission. Lots more after that. 

Edited by Joe Bryant
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2 minutes ago, rockaction said:

I think people are underestimating his disdain for contact within a specified rule setting. He's not soft, necessarily, he just wants the rules enforced. Of course, in his favor. But that would be the argument against him being "soft" which sounds more like a drive/competitiveness/playing through injury thing.

He is Charmin Ultra Soft by both measures.

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1 hour ago, FreeBaGeL said:

I think it's silly to believe that 16 year olds choose basketball over football or vice versa because they think it's a better business decision and better on their body.

Those guys chose basketball because they were better at it and/or they liked it more.

We've seen multiple guys that were good enough at both football and baseball to make millions playing either and both of them (Murray and Bo) chose to play football in some capacity (and Bo at the most dangerous position, to boot) over a far less dangerous sport than even basketball.  And these guys were 21+ when making the decision with the money from the other option actually staring them in the face.  To think 16 year olds who may or may not ever make it in one of the sports are taking the other off the table to protect their body is a pretty massive leap imo.

Murray will make a lot more as QB for the Cardinals than he would've as 2nd baseman for the A's.

QB is a unique position in the NFL and they're really the only guys with comparable longevity/marketability/earning potential compared with NBA stars.

If you are a 6'6"+ elite national level NCAABB prospect with realistic NBA potential, you probably aren't going to mess around with football.

Football was the fallback option for guys like Gates and Graham who couldn't hack it at the top level in hoops.

Seeing what they did, it's reasonable to think some of the more gifted NBA bigs could easily make a similar transition.

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4 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

This feels a little like the classic FFA thread where the 40 year old weekend athlete guy thought he could stay in the ring with Manny Pacquiao because he was 6" taller and 50 pounds heavier. There's a LOT more than physical ability at this level. Having the physical ability is just the price of admission. Lots more after that. 

I wasn't around for that thread, but it still lives on the board. :lmao:

That said, it's not perfectly analogous or really on point -- the comparison of LeBron to a message board weekender. He's world class. Gold medal. NBA Finals champ thrice over. Finalist even more times (nine?). He's proven that at the top of his profession he's the King of everything and dominates the league. He may be the best basketball player to ever play. He's at least in the top ten. To insinuate that he's not mentally fit to play is really a broad shot at the toughness of the NBA.

So I'm not sure what LeBron has evinced through his litany of runs through and deep in the playoffs that he doesn't have the mental makeup to play a different sport like football. Yes, we know football is tough, but athletes at that world-class level can certainly rise to different expectations if it is required of them. LeBron, by all appearances, is a bright and thoughtful individual that would likely pick up on the nuances of football.

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

This feels a little like the classic FFA thread where the 40 year old weekend athlete guy thought he could stay in the ring with Manny Pacquiao because he was 6" taller and 50 pounds heavier. There's a LOT more than physical ability at this level. Having the physical ability is just the price of admission. Lots more after that. 

I agree with you about there being so much more than physical ability. But this isn’t Joe Average getting off his couch and stepping with a ring with Manny Pacquiao.

This is a professional athlete who has already shown that he has so much beyond the physical by virtue of what he’s achieved to date.

I have a hard time believing that if he had set his mind to football back in high school that he wouldn’t have at least made it to the NFL. His physical presence would have provided for him the opportunities to achieve at the sport. And if he can learn the intricacies of a Professional basketball offense straight out of high school, I find it hard to believe he wouldn’t also be able to learn to run routes as a college football player, and then develop that further into a professional career if that’s what he had wanted to do.

it is an outstanding discussion though… Very interesting to see everyone’s viewpoints.

Edited by Hot Sauce Guy
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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, EBF said:

Murray will make a lot more as QB for the Cardinals than he would've as 2nd baseman for the A's.

QB is a unique position in the NFL and they're really the only guys with comparable longevity/marketability/earning potential compared with NBA stars.

If you are a 6'6"+ elite national level NCAABB prospect with realistic NBA potential, you probably aren't going to mess around with football.

Football was the fallback option for guys like Gates and Graham who couldn't hack it at the top level in hoops.

Seeing what they did, it's reasonable to think some of the more gifted NBA bigs could easily make a similar transition.

This is an excellent take. Why mess with CTE if you don’t have to?

i’ll add to that; that if LeBron James wanted to play football, he more than likely would’ve gone through the same college route as most every other player. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard of a player coming straight out of high school into the NFL, where James was able to come out and go straight into the NBA. 3-4 years to make it to the pros is a massive difference.

Edited by Hot Sauce Guy

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26 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

Thanks. Yeah, I didn't mean both TE and DE.

It's a fascinating discussion and this has been a good one. Personally, I think Lebron James would be average at best as a TE. I just think there's so much beyond physical traits that make a great football player. 

And for as low as I'd put his chances of being a great TE, I'd put his chances of being a great defensive end about 100x lower. My worry is he doesn't have enough "football" mentality to play TE. I'd be absolutely shocked if he had the football mentality for defensive end. I don't think people realize how exceptional those guys are. 

It surprises me that you think a world class athlete that is in the conversation of being in the top 5 to ever play the game (and some would say in the conversation for top 2) couldn't learn the translatable skills to NFL TE.  Hands are there, body positioning, reading defenses on the fly (yes a different type defense but his vision is there)......all highly beneficial to playing TE.  He also has a top notch work ethic (couldn't dominate the NBA like he has without it).  If he wanted to be in the NFL in his prime and put in the time to learn the position it seems like it could be done.  If players Gates, Graham & Gonzo could do it, why do you think James would have such a hard time?

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2 minutes ago, Hot Sauce Guy said:

This is an excellent take. Why mess with CTE if you don’t have to? i’ll add to that but if LeBron James wants to play football, he more than likely would’ve gone through the same college route as most every other player. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard of a player coming straight out of high school into the NFL, where James was able to come out and go straight into the NBA. 3-4 years to make it to the pros is a massive difference.

You wouldn't because the NFL won't let players come directly out of high school per the collective bargaining agreement, which has been upheld by numerous courts when challenged under labor law. 

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13 minutes ago, rockaction said:

I wasn't around for that thread, but it still lives on the board. :lmao:

That said, it's not perfectly analogous or really on point -- the comparison of LeBron to a message board weekender. He's world class. Gold medal. NBA Finals champ thrice over. Finalist even more times (nine?). He's proven that at the top of his profession he's the King of everything and dominates the league. He may be the best basketball player to ever play. He's at least in the top ten. To insinuate that he's not mentally fit to play is really a broad shot at the toughness of the NBA.

So I'm not sure what LeBron has evinced through his litany of runs through and deep in the playoffs that he doesn't have the mental makeup to play a different sport like football. Yes, we know football is tough, but athletes at that world-class level can certainly rise to different expectations if it is required of them. LeBron, by all appearances, is a bright and thoughtful individual that would likely pick up on the nuances of football.

Sorry, I wasn't trying to compare Lebron to a weekend athlete. My point was it's about WAY more than being big enough or fast enough. 

Another thing this reminds me of a little is when people thought Tim Tebow should move to TE. I remember thinking, "Exactly what skills has Tebow demonstrated that make you think he could be an NFL TE?" Lebron is easily one of the greatest basketball players ever. I have no idea if he could be a good tight end. There are a ton of Ohio High School football stars that can't sniff the NFL. 

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2 minutes ago, Gally said:

It surprises me that you think a world class athlete that is in the conversation of being in the top 5 to ever play the game (and some would say in the conversation for top 2) couldn't learn the translatable skills to NFL TE.  Hands are there, body positioning, reading defenses on the fly (yes a different type defense but his vision is there)......all highly beneficial to playing TE.  He also has a top notch work ethic (couldn't dominate the NBA like he has without it).  If he wanted to be in the NFL in his prime and put in the time to learn the position it seems like it could be done.  If players Gates, Graham & Gonzo could do it, why do you think James would have such a hard time?

I've just seen nothing of him that makes me think he could thrive with the physical punishment. I'm right with Cam Jordan here at the 3:30 mark. https://twitter.com/NFLonFOX/status/1263568884742807554?s=20

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1 minute ago, Joe Bryant said:

Sorry, I wasn't trying to compare Lebron to a weekend athlete. My point was it's about WAY more than being big enough or fast enough. 

Another thing this reminds me of a little is when people thought Tim Tebow should move to TE. I remember thinking, "Exactly what skills has Tebow demonstrated that make you think he could be an NFL TE?" Lebron is easily one of the greatest basketball players ever. I have no idea if he could be a good tight end. There are a ton of Ohio High School football stars that can't sniff the NFL. 

Fair points, all.

And I have an "oh, okay" reaction to the bolded font. I agree with you that it would be way more than being big enough or fast enough. He'd have to display an understanding of complex offensive systems, but just through word and comparable experience, he's able to do just that. He'd also have to take the physical beating demanded of NFL players. We don't know about that. The jury will have to wait forever for that. His injury history is not extensive in the NBA, but we also don't know that, either. So really, we'll just never know, which makes this a cool exercise in thought processes and valuation of traits. 

As far as the Ohio High School football stars, that's very true. But we're talking about unrivaled athleticism. And it's not like he'd be trying to golf or play baseball, two sports I would immediately cross out with a pen for him. It's a transition made before, which is why people are so divided on it. 

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Listening on the radio, they were saying that Antonio Gates averaged 20/6, so it’s not like he was a terrible basketball player who fell back on the NFL. Dude was reportedly a gamer.

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16 minutes ago, rockaction said:

You wouldn't because the NFL won't let players come directly out of high school per the collective bargaining agreement, which has been upheld by numerous courts when challenged under labor law. 

Right. That’s my point… He had a much shorter path to professional career in the NBA.

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Posted (edited)

I guess now I'm defending a position that might make it seem I think it's easy to play in the NFL. Which I'm not intending at all. It's a brutal league, with brutal injuries, a pace barely spoken of in other sports, and the requisite mental makeup that goes along with it.

I'm only arguing LeBron because it's LeBron. And I'm no LeBron worshiper or internet sycophant or anything. It's just he's at a peak of a sport we won't likely see for a long, long time and it's been that way since high school for him. His talents and high school experience might indeed translate well, as we have seen others do it, especially in these particular sports, and especially at that position and general physical makeup pertaining here. 

But I don't want the NFL to seem like you can just willy-nilly walk in and do it. The best collegiate players -- in a brutal and competitive league of their own -- can't even hack it at times. That says something.

Edited by rockaction

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1 minute ago, rockaction said:

I guess now I'm defending a position that might make it seem I think it's easy to play in the NFL. Which I'm not intending at all. It's a brutal league, with brutal injuries, a pace barely spoken of in other sports, and the requisite mental makeup that goes along with it.

I'm only arguing LeBron because it's LeBron. And I'm no LeBron worshiper or internet sycophant or anything. It's just he's at a peak of a sport we won't likely see for a long, long time and it's been that way since high school for him. His talents and high school experience might indeed translate well, as we have seen others do it, especially in sports, and especially at that position and general physical makeup pertaining here. 

But I don't want the NFL to seem like you can just willy-nilly walk in and do it. The best collegiate players -- in a brutal and competitive league of their own -- can't even hack it at times. That says something.

lol - Lebron is one of my least favorite NBA players, so it feels supper weird to defend him on anything, but he works hard, has the physical skills & the drive. 

whether he can take the punishment or not is the biggest unknown. 

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Posted (edited)

Would love to see an elite NBA player like Lebron play keeper for the USMNT. He could keep his NBA job and just show up for games and still dominate. 

Edited by TwinTurbo

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Saying Jimmy Graham and AG washed out Of basketball and therefore most of any basketball players can transition to the NFL is a disservice to the NFL and the quality of those players in this sport. If that was true Rico Gathers would be demolishing the league right now and if it’s about athleticism Moeritz Boeringer would have adjusted right in. 

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1 minute ago, Iceman03 said:

Saying Jimmy Graham and AG washed out Of basketball and therefore most of any basketball players can transition to the NFL is a disservice to the NFL and the quality of those players in this sport.

That sounds like a strawman. 

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4 minutes ago, Hot Sauce Guy said:

lol - Lebron is one of my least favorite NBA players, so it feels supper weird to defend him on anything, but he works hard, has the physical skills & the drive. 

whether he can take the punishment or not is the biggest unknown. 

lol in return. I've never been a LeBron fan in the NBA. Give me a guy like Steph, to be honest. That's the kind of game I like watching. Stretch the floor out to about thirty feet, dribble, drive, kick, hoist.

Love it, though I don't watch much NBA. It's just how the game should be played. 

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1 minute ago, rockaction said:

That sounds like a strawman. 

“Football was the fallback option for guys like Gates and Graham who couldn't hack it at the top level in hoops.

Seeing what they did, it's reasonable to think some of the more gifted NBA bigs could easily make a similar transition.”

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Further pointing out Graham and Gates makes it seem every burn out basketball player can do this and thus every NBA superstar can do this. Rico Gathers and Demetrius Harris prove otherwise.

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Just now, Iceman03 said:

Further pointing out Graham and Gates makes it seem every burn out basketball player can do this and thus every NBA superstar can do this. Rico Gathers and Demetrius Harris prove otherwise.

Nobody has made the argument that "any basketball player" can play in the NFL.  

 

This is about one specific NBA player that is a freak athlete with tremendous size, speed, and work ethic.  Arguably a top 5 ever basketball player that possesses skills that would translate specifically to the NFL.  Whether or not he can take the physical punishment or not is debatable.  But bottom line is the proponents that James could have been a tremendous football player haven't been diminishing football players or the NFL.  They are confident that an elite athlete that made the jump from high school to the NBA as the best player for 10+ years could have used that athleticism if he wanted to focus on football.

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26 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

Sorry, I wasn't trying to compare Lebron to a weekend athlete. My point was it's about WAY more than being big enough or fast enough. 

Another thing this reminds me of a little is when people thought Tim Tebow should move to TE. I remember thinking, "Exactly what skills has Tebow demonstrated that make you think he could be an NFL TE?" Lebron is easily one of the greatest basketball players ever. I have no idea if he could be a good tight end. There are a ton of Ohio High School football stars that can't sniff the NFL. 

Not to veer off topic, but I think Tebow absolutely could have been a good TE. He had demonstrated the skills to break tackles, make people miss, he could catch. Could he run routes? His speed/agility says he'd have no physical limitation, it'd just been a matter of experience. In Tebow's case, I think it was just an ego thing, he made up his mind that his goal wasn't to be an NFL player, it was to be an NFL QB. Its a shame Sean Payton never got ahold of him, as he was basically an early Taysom Hill. 

I felt Tyree Jackson should have been tried as a TE too. I'll never understand why teams don't try to move talented athletes to new positions more often. Lack of confidence in coaching ability? I'm not saying these guys would be Antonio Gates, or starters, but I think they'd both be in the NFL right now, and certainly could have fared better than they did at QB.

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