Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top 8 NBA Players Who Could Have Played a Different Sport

8. Dirk Nowitzki- Nowitzki, like his buddy Nash, grew up playing soccer. While he would be a liability in speed, he would have such a strength advantage and height advantage he would be an excellent option for a header at the end of a cross.

Soccer Player Most Similar To: Dimitar Berbatov

7. Serge Ibaka- Ibaka would make a great goalie. He is athletic, strong, physical and he blocks shots. His huge body and agility would make it tough for someone to slide the puck by him.

NHL Player Most Similar To: Martin Brodeur

6. Rajon Rondo- OK, my Rondo bias may be starting to come through in my writing. You can still see Rondo subjectively as a two-sport possibility because he played quarterback (the position most similar of any sport to a point guard) in high school. His mobility and his ability to thread a pass would be of great use on the football field, but he would bee at a disadvantage throwing over linemen because of his height.

NFL Player Most Similar To: Michael Vick

5. Kobe Bryant- Kobe is often thought of as Philly's son and he has gotten knocked by fans before for not being "black enough," but both of these assessments are completely unfair (no being black enough is unfair no matter who you talk to) because Kobe spent his formative years (from when he was 6 until he entered high school.)

Kobe even admitted he would have played soccer and not basketball had he stayed in Italy. Kobe's agility, speed and footwork would have made him a great soccer player. But, the two qualities that would have helped him the most, two qualities that are only matched by Michael Jordan in NBA history, is his competitiveness and his work ethic. Kobe could have starred in a number of sports.

Soccer Player Most Similar to: Samuel Eto'o

4. Deron Williams- Deron has a rare combination for a basketball player: anaerobic strength and speed. Most basketball players who are fast usually are aerobically (long distance) so (think Ray Allen and Steve Nash), and those who are anaerobically (sprinters) so (think John Wall and Chris Paul) tend not to be strong. Deron combines both these features with great vision, aggression and durability. He could have made a great NHL center.

NHL Player Most Similiar To: Evgeni Malkin

3. Chris Paul- Chris Paul would make an excellent singles-hitting center field. Imagine the type of range he would have on the field and the powerful throws to home he could do. There is no doubt an athlete of his caliber and speed could make it as a gold glove outfielder. He would have also been a nightmare on the base paths, but he would be limited because his short arms may make it hard to hit balls off the outside corner and he would probably have to pull most balls.

MLB Player Most Similar To: Jacoby Ellsbury

2. Steve Nash- Nash's unique basketball footwork reveal his soccer-playing past. (I once was assistant coach on a middle school team, and a good deal of my effort was spent trying to teach one player how to run like a basketball player and not a soccer player.) Somehow, Nash makes this work, although I would not recommend you try it yourself. Nash is an excellent athlete who excelled at both hockey and soccer before telling his mom at the age of 12 he would one day be an NBA star. (We need a time machine to go back and tell our mothers we will be NBA stars.)

He would definitely be the type of soccer player who dribbles around people, makes ridiculous shots from long distance and makes impossible crosses to his teammates.

Soccer Player Most Similar To: Lionel Messi (even the hair is the same!)

1. Lebron James- I am just as disappointed as you are to see him here, at the top spot. But there is no denying Lebron would have been better at football than any NBA player would be at any sport other than basketball. James was named first team all state at wide receiver his SOPHOMORE year.. (I know, I know, he played in Ohio, a state that SUCKS at football.)

Notre Dame scout Tom Lemming went to recruit Lebron at Akron and was shocked when he later heard Lebron could be the number 1 draft pick in basketball the next year, because Lemming thought he was THE BEST WIDE RECEIVER IN THE COUNTRY.

His size, speed and strength would be unmatched in today's NFL.

NFL Player Most Similar To: Terrell Owens (backhanded compliment enough for ya, readers?)

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