October 11, 2011
NBA superstar LeBron James caused a stir on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon after he tweeted a question to ESPN's John Clayton asking the deadline for NFL teams to sign free agents.
The cryptic message, which in no way was a publicity stunt on par with LeBron dressing in full pads at a high school football practice last week and slyly wondering whether he should get back on the field or not, was instantly met with reaction from around the world.
Fans sent hundreds of tweets in the minutes following James' "question," and opinion seemed divided on how the self-proclaimed King James would do in the NFL if he played while the NBA is in lockout mode.
Let's make this real easy. First off, it's not happening. We'll let our friends at Yahoo! Sports' NBA blog Ball Don't Lie explain why LeBron would never jeopardize his NBA career by doing something as dangerous as playing football. Second, even if he did, LeBron wouldn't be any good on the field.
[Related: See LeBron James' new Air Force-themed shoes]
If we're living in a dream world where LeBron were to quit basketball and fully devote himself to the NFL then, sure, his athleticism could allow him to become an Antonio Gates(notes) or Tony Gonzalez(notes). That process wouldn't come overnight, though. Learning a playbook, getting down the verbiage, figuring out how to break free from the secondary, these aren't things that come naturally because of athletic talent. If being an unbelievable athlete meant you were automatically a great football player, the history of the NFL draft wouldn't be littered with busts.
But let's keep up this thought experiment and say LeBron wasn't being facetious and intentionally trying to bait the media into writing about him (well-played, LeBron). If he did, where would be the best place for him?
1. Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator -- He has just as much experience in the position as Juan Castillo did entering the season. And he could provide veteran leadership in how not to win a title.
2. Dallas Cowboys quarterback -- If anyone can make the criticism of Tony Romo(notes) pale in comparison, it's LeBron. Can you imagine how amazing those fourth quarters would be? The Cowboys could feasibly blow a 42-point lead with that combination. Plus, nobody loves a front-runner like Mr. James.
3. Cleveland Browns tight end -- How long would it take Cleveland fans to forgive LeBron if he came back to the city as part of the football team? Three seconds? Two?
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