While basketball and football might be two completely different sports, there is no doubt that skills from one of them could transfer over to other. Amongst the players in the NBA, some stand out as stars who could have seen the same success and fame had they chosen the gridiron over the hardcourt.
Rajon Rondo – Quarterback
While the tall and lean point guard might not scream football player at first glance, the Celtic played quarterback in high school. Not only this, but he has previously compared a point guard to a quarterback and drawn similarities between the two:
"The quarterback is the guy who calls all the plays and gets all the attention and the same with the point guard in basketball. You have to hit the open man," Rondo said to ESPN.
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As a quarterback, his size and speed give him two important skills for a quarterback that make him the NBA’s quarterback, but Rondo may have to put on some muscle to get ready for the 300-pound defensive lineman that will be trying to take him down.
LeBron James – Tight End
Could LeBron James soon tell us that he’ll be taking his talents to the NFL? If we did, James could become one of the scariest tight ends in the NFL. Standing at 6-foot-8, James is one of the strongest and most athletic players in the NBA and his versatility as a basketball player and athlete would transfer onto the football field.
While his build would make him much better suited as a receiving tight end, his strength and flexibility as an athlete would also allow him to play as a blocking tight end. James also received All-State honors as a tight end in freshman and sophomore years at St. Vincent–St. Mary High School. If nothing else, James weighs as much as Rob Gronkowski but stands taller than him; a scary sight for NFL defenses.
John Wall – Wide Receiver/Running Back
John Wall runs up and down a basketball court in the same way that he could be running up and down a football field: fast and eluding defenses left and right. Arguably one of the fastest players in the NBA, the 6-foot-4 point guard would have no problem blasting past NFL defenses as a running back or breaking defenders to get open for passes.
His explosive style of play is one that is unrivaled amongst receivers in the NFL and his ability to dole out jukes at full speed like no one else would have him past defenses and racing towards the end zone with no chance of stopping him.
Nate Robinson – Cornerback
Some people find it hard to believe that Nate Robinson is playing in the NBA, but the 5-foot-9 point guard has never failed to amaze with his amazing dunks that have secured him three Slam Dunk titles.
Those leaping abilities are going to be vital for him, using them to get passes intended for taller receivers. Robinson also has the added advantage of a year of football at the University of Washington where he excelled on the gridiron.
Robinson even considered playing football when the NBA was locked out in 2011, being invited to Seahawks training camp. Robinson’s prior experience, speed, agility, and “hops” make him an unquestionable choice for a player who could make it in the NFL.
Blake Griffin – Defensive End
If he has jumped over cars in pursuit of a Slam Dunk title, what’s to say that he can’t be jumping over lineman in pursuit of quarterbacks?
At 6-foot-10, Blake Griffin would be able to use his size to his advantage, swatting down passes and at 251 pounds he’d be able to push his way past defenses. With a quick first step and some speed, Griffin also has the quickness needed by a defensive end.
When it comes to success in the NFL, Griffin is going to have the size and quickness advantage in getting through defenses to stop plays.
While many other players could definitely make it big in the NFL with a mix of their size, skills, and talents, these five stood as the game changers who would bring what others could not to the football field.