NBA Cancels games and LeBron to the NFL? What?
Just the other day, LeBron was tweeting about practicing in full pads with his former high school team. And then mean ol’ David Stern cancels the NBA’s first two weeks of the the season as if he were grounding his kids for 2 weeks for disagreeing with the adults on the table.
This is going to cost players a huge chunk of change and I bet most are regretting not taking those overseas contracts. But not LeBron. He’s asking about football. He tweeted at ESPN’s John Clayton asking “When is the deadline for a team to sign a free agent?”
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that LeBron wants to go to the NFL. Perhaps LeBron is looking to see if he should pick up T.O. off the waiver wire for his super-intense fantasy football league. He’s probably in 2nd place behind Maverick Carter and realllly wants to finally win. That’s probably not it, but fun to imagine.
Honestly, it didn’t matter what LeBron’s intentions were because the bloggissists trasnlated it for him. “OMG, LEBRON IS GOING TO PLAY IN THE NFL!”
Even I had some fun with it, tweeting why it makes sense. LeBron, who was named Mr. Football in Ohio while playing in high school, is one of the greatest athletes in the world if not in history. He’s a freakish 6’9”, 280lbs monster with the quickness and agility of a 5’9” all-pro running back. He has a very scientifically* estimated 40” vertical and judging by the way he catches lob passes, his hands, which are the size of softball gloves, are also as soft as a fresh baked croissant.
There’s no reason to think LeBron doesn’t have the size, speed or skill to play football as a Tight End or Wide Receiver, like a super-sized Calvin Johonson (a super-sized Calvin Johnson. THINK ABOUT THAT. The man we call Megatron, but bigger!)
Even if LeBron was rusty, or didn’t understand the complexity of today’s offense or never figured out how to pick up the NFL blitz, it wouldn’t matter. Just his name alone would be worth the money whatever team signed him. And let’s be frank, every single team would at least consider signing him. Every. Single. Team. Even the Patriots.
Even if he was a complete failure on the field, he would show enormous returns off of it. The NFL, already the most popular sport in America, would increase viewership. People would tune in just to appease their curiosity. Oh, and the merchandise sales. As if the NFl didn’t already ship a small country’s GDP worth of product a year. LeBron, who had the #1 selling basketball jersey on the planet last year would probably instantly jump to the top of the NFL jersey list, too. And why not? He’s one of the most popular figures on the planet, diving into the most popular game in America.
But, it’s never going to happen. Not only do NFL teams not pay players nearly as much as the NBA, they would barely match what LeBron can make playing ball in Europe or China. Plus the risk of injury in the NFL is much higher and careers and contract lengths are much shorter in the NFL compared to the NBA and basketball in general. There’s no way LeBron risks millions of dollars and a priceless legacy in the NBA for 10 weeks of fun in the NFL.
And if all that isn’t enough to convince you that this isn’t going to happen, I got one more thing; insurance.
LeBron would have to have his NBA contract, and himself, insured if he were to play in the NFL. Considering the size of the contract he has left and the high rate of injury in the NFL, I doubt anyone would take on such a risk. Especially not LeBron.
*By scientifically estimated, I mean that I pulled those numbers out of my ass. But still, If I told you LeBron has a 74 inch vertical, you’d probably believe me. Not because I’m trust worthy or that I walk around with a calculator and a pocket protector. It’s because LeBron seems other-worldly at all times, especially when he’s running and jumping.