In celebration of Thanksgiving, which all-time NBA player do you think would make the best NFL player?
Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21): When I think of the most successful football players, physicality, toughness and a hard-nosed mentality are almost always the first attributes that come to mind.
When I think of NBA players that fit that description - Clippers guard Patrick Beverley is all three of the aforementioned characteristics personified.
With quick hands and reflexes, I would love to see Beverley jamming one of the league's feature receivers off of the line. Where Beverley might lack in traditional technique, he makes up for with his tenacity, can't-lose approach, and defensive mindset.
Guys like Beverley have too much pride to willingly accept getting beat and I can easily see him making game-changing plays as a product of his aggression. That being said, sign me up for Pat Bev at corner.
Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13): Ed Reed was 5'11" with legendary ball hawk skills and a knack for playing passing lanes that led to winning Defensive Player of the Year and nine Pro Bowl selections as a safety for the Super Bowl winning Baltimore Ravens. An incredible motor, Reed played an integral part on what was one of the most consistently dominant defenses in NFL history.
Allen Iverson would have been amazing in the Reed role.
Sure, he would need to beef up a bit to patrol the middle of the field, but Iverson was among the very best at playing center field and gambling to make plays off the ball. He certainly got burnt for his over aggression as did Reed, but there's no doubt that Iverson - a three-time steals champion - would have ranked among the league leaders in picks every year. One of the toughest players on the hardwood, Iverson's tenacity would have transferred seamlessly to the gridiron assuming he could hang physically.
There's this too: he won Virginia state AP Player of the Year in football in high school while leading his team to a state championship playing quarterback, cornerback and kick returner. There's a case to be made that the eventual basketball Hall of Famer was actually a better football player.
Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_): We've always heard the trash talk from guys like Richard Sherman, Josh Norman and Jalen Ramsey, and in order to play cornerback you have to have that kind of attitude. That's why I'm going with Russell Westbrook at corner, locking down opposing receivers and letting them hear it too.
Corner is arguably the toughest position in football - you have to be as fast and athletic as the freakish wide receivers you line up against and have to carry a cocky attitude in shutting down your opponent at the same time. We already know that Russ has no lack of athleticism and he definitely isn't a shy competitor either.
Line him up against your favourite team's best wide receiver and watch him take pride in holding him to two catches for 17 yards after letting the media know all week that he was going to shut them down. Oh, and he'd be tied with Sherman (among a few others) for the tallest cornerback in the league at 6-foot-3, a rarity for a position that is usually playing with a height disadvantage to the receiver in front of them.
Who wouldn't want Russ playing defensive back for their favourite NFL team?
Carlan Gay (@TheCarlanGay): I'm going with Kevin Love at quarterback. Imagine Love throwing dimes the way he throws them after a rebound 30 yards downfield to wide open receivers.
Pinpoint accuracy, great touch, perfect form, standing at 6-foot-9 so he has no problem seeing over the line of scrimmage, Love would've been an incredible QB. The only issue for him would be durability as we know he has had his fair share of injury issues and probably would be better in another era of football where he didn't need to be that mobile.
Prior to getting Baker Mayfield, if the Cleveland Browns could've probably given Love a shot - I mean they didn't really have much to lose before, did they?
Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): I'm not a big football fan, so I'm going to keep this very simple and go with LeBron James.
We already know LeBron played football when he was younger. He made First Team All-Star as a sophomore in high school and led St. Vincent-St. Mary to the state semifinals as a junior. A broken wrist in an AAU basketball game prevented him from playing his senior season, but it's no surprise that a number of programs were still interested in offering him a scholarship to play college football.
At his size with his speed, athleticism, strength and coordination, LeBron would've made for a terrifying receiver in both college and the NFL. We caught glimpses of it during his time with the Miami Heat, when he and Dwyane Wade connected on these sorts of plays on a routine basis:
Come to think of it, Wade could've been a solid NFL player with that arm.