In this day and age, athletes have out of this world physical ability. Some run faster and jump higher than us normal people could ever imagine.
There are some players in the NBA today that could start on an NFL team right now, or have at least played football during high school or college days. Watching the Monday Night Football doubleheader last night between the Ravens/Jets and Chargers/Chiefs, if got me thinking about which NBA players could make a transition into the NFL. Here are the top five, plus one coach:
Chauncey Billups – Head Coach
Billups played a huge role for the Detroit Pistons in his prime, nailing big shots down stretches of games and earning the nickname “Mr. Big Shot.” The Pistons ended up winning an NBA title in 2004. Since then, he’s helped give the Denver Nuggets the floor general they needed in order to be one of the best teams in the Western Conference. Billups also played under two Hall of Fame head coaches: Larry Brown while in Detroit, and George Karl with the Nuggets. Billups gets respect from his teammates and even opposing players, and is a master at setting the pace of a game and controlling tempo. He’s always aware of the clock and the situation. He would make a great NFL coach.
Allen Iverson – Quarterback/Cornerback
From middle school all the way into the NBA, Iverson was so athletic that he could have played any sport and dominated. During his days at Bethel High School in Virginia, Iverson played quarterback and cornerback and returned kicks, and was even more highly-recruited by college football scouts than Michael Vick and his cousin, ex-NFL quarterback Aaron Brooks. He won Bethel two state championships in both basketball and football. As the baddest dude under 6-feet to ever lace ‘em up, just imagine if Iverson had played for the Atlanta Falcons. The franchise that once employed Vick and Deion Sanders could have another player with otherworldly speed. Now that’s scary.
LeBron James – Wide Receiver/Tight End/Safety
‘Bron is one of those hybrid players, the ones you could line up at almost any position and they’re going to succeed. ‘Bron was a first team All-State wide receiver at St. Vincent-St. Mary’s in Ohio, drawing comparisons to Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. During his junior season, he led his team all the way to the state semifinals. With his agility, leaping ability, big hands and strength, ‘Bron has the ability to play at least three positions on the football field, maybe more. He can make the catch, hold a block with his upper body strength and even put a hit on someone (although I don’t see ‘Bron putting a hit on anyone). Just imagine if he played with Iverson; talk about the greatest duo in high school football history.
Nate Robinson – Cornerback/Running Back/Kick Returner
They don’t call him Krypto-Nate for nothing. This guy had it all. Robinson was a scholarship football player at the University of Washington, where he started at corner as a freshman before deciding to stick with basketball full-time. In high school he played tailback and returned kicks as well. Robinson wasn’t the tallest guy out there (5-9) but he had the biggest heart on the field. He’d be the next Darren Sproles with his speed, but a little more physical.
Steve Nash – Kicker/Punter
Nash is a sure lock as a future Hall of Fame point guard, but his true love is soccer. You could also put Kobe here, but I don’t think Kobe can kick a ball into a basketball hoop from about 16 feet out. Nash can do that, so then why can’t he kick a field goal or punt a football down inside the 10-yard line? Nash has been known to come through in the clutch and I’d expect him to hit a few game winning field goals in the NFL.
Glen Davis – Running Back/Defensive End
For those who don’t know, Big Baby was the original Brandon Jacobs — until he chose to focus on basketball. Playing tailback at University Laboratory High in Louisiana, at 6-foot-9, 290 pounds, Davis was a monster on the field. If you don’t believe me, check the YouTube clip. For a man his size, he also played defensive end and a little tight end throughout high school as well.