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NFL.com Puts Together Eleven NBA-NFL Player Comparisons
If there is one thing people love doing while watching athletes play their particular sport of choice, it’s comparing current players to former players. What you rarely see is someone comparing a guy in one sport to a guy in a totally different sport—that is until NFL.com decided to do so with NFL-NBA comparisons.
With the 2016 NFL season still months away and the NBA conference finals underway, TD St. Matthew-Daniel of NFL.com put together 11 NBA-NFL player comparisons after the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Love compared LeBron James & Kyrie Irving to the former USC running back tandem of Reggie Bush and LenDale White.
Lebron James = Cam Newton
Both extremely disliked if they even smile the wrong way.
“At 6’8, 250 lbs., LeBron is one of the few athletes in any sport who strikes a similar figure to the 6’5, 245 lbs. Cam Newton. However, super-human athleticism isn’t the only thing these two franchise players have in common. LeBron’s ability to both score and facilitate at a high level is reminiscent of Cam’s prowess as a true dual-threat quarterback. Both are able to find their open teammates and call their own number when needed. LeBron has had some issues with his shooting form much like Cam’s passing mechanics, but neither star shies away from going hard in the paint. Superhero-like specimens with star personalities, LeBron and Cam are arguably the face of their respective leagues.”
Russell Westbrook = Odell Beckham Jr.
So you think you can dance.
“Not many in sports can compare to the athleticism of Odell Beckham of the New York Giants. Russell Westbrook, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s havoc-wreaking point guard, is one of the select few. Just like Beckham, Westbrook is a box-score stuffing machine and makes the insane highlight play seem routine. The way Westbrook viciously attacks the rim reminds me of Beckham’s acrobatic assault on up-for-grabs passes. Plus, Westbrook’s one-man fastbreaks are the basketball version of OBJ’s long catch-and-run touchdowns. Although no photos have emerged of Westbrook kickin’ it at Drake’s house, not yet anyway, Westbrook and Beckham have as many moves on the dance floor as they do during games.”
Kevin Love = Greg Olsen
“If LeBron James is the NBA’s Cam Newton, then his teammate Kevin Love is the NBA’s Greg Olsen. There’s always seemingly been a correlation between basketball power forward and football tight end, but Love compares well to Olsen for another key reason. Much like the Panthers’ Pro Bowl tight end is Newton’s most-targeted teammate, Kevin Love gets most of his points on LeBron’s assists. Plus, while most tight ends are a quarterback’s safety blanket, Olsen produced a number of big plays for the Panthers in 2015 — similar to Love’s three-point shooting role in the Cavaliers’ offense.”
Kevin Durant = A.J. Green
“A low-key personality with high-end production, Kevin Durant lets his game do most of the talking like Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green. With one NBA MVP and five Pro Bowl selections between them, these two 27-year-olds have racked up their share of individual accomplishments. However, a championship title still evades them as both stars need their respective sidekicks (the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook and the Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton) to achieve the ultimate team prize. Lastly, Durant and Green are both big fans of each other as the two stars regularly exchange high praise on Twitter.”
Kawhi Leonard = Patrick Peterson
“Just as Patrick Peterson has the size and freakish athleticism to match the NFL’s top wide receivers, the Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard is one of the few perimeter defenders capable of shutting down the NBA’s premier swingmen. With a 6’7 frame and some of the biggest hands in sports, Leonard routinely swats away offensive attempts and intercepts passes like the Cardinals’ star cornerback. Leonard also possesses a very quiet demeanor and although Peterson is very confident, he’s not as talkative as Richard Sherman or other elite cornerbacks.”
Chris Paul = Tony Romo
Chris Paul is not even close to being disliked as much as Romo is.
“Chris Paul shares many similarities to Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Playmaking maestros at their position, few can deny the pure passing talent of CP3 and Romo. However, a series of unlucky injuries and untimely playoff mishaps have lessened the career achievements of these stars in the eyes of many. CP3 and Romo will need help from their respective star teammates, Blake Griffin and Dez Bryant, in order to overcome their playoff struggles before the end of their careers. Plus, more team success will be sure to please their enthusiastic team owners : the Clippers’ Steve Ballmer and Cowboys’ Jerry Jones.”
Kyrie Irving = Le’Veon Bell
“Arguably the NBA’s best ball handler, Kyrie Irving aka Uncle Drew shakes defenders in the same fashion Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell does during his signature highlight plays. Both players are offensively versatile as Irving’s ability to finish in the lane and strike from deep isn’t unlike Bell’s knack for big-plays and ability to still produce when in tight spaces. Plus, as a score-first point guard, Irving is used to catching the ball on the wings much like Bell in the Steelers’ passing game. Despite some injury issues early in their careers, Irving and Bell possess all the pure talent to become the very best at their positions.”
Derrick Rose = Robert Griffin III
This comparison injured both of them.
“Despite having the weight of a franchise and an entire city on their backs, both Derrick Rose and Robert Griffin III began their pro careers with a flourish. D-Rose became the NBA’s youngest ever MVP in 2011 and RGIII’s show-stopping 2012 campaign was arguably the greatest quarterback rookie season in NFL history. Then the knee injuries happened and both players have struggled to live up to self-set lofty expectations ever since. Feels like a while ago, but the two Adidas endorsers were once incredible athletes who performed feats never seen before at their respective positions.”
Stephen Curry = Russell Wilson
“Like the Seattle Seahawks star quarterback, Steph Curry is an undersized player with the skills to dominate a big man’s game. The way Curry often sets up the Warriors’ offense with his world-class handle is reminiscent of Wilson’s playmaking Houdini act on many Seahawks’ possessions. In addition to their ability to weave through defenders, both franchise men are marksmen from long range. Curry recently broke his own NBA record for three-pointers made in a season while Wilson had the NFL’s top passer rating in 2015, throwing ten 30-yard+ touchdowns (#SexyDeepBall). Relatively overlooked coming out of college, the highly-endorsed Curry and Wilson are now superstars on and off the court and both have the celebrity relationships to match.”
Draymond Green = Richard Sherman
Apparently, Richard Sherman sets illegal screens as well.
“A defensive superstar, Draymond Green is the Richard Sherman to Steph Curry’s Russell Wilson. A second-round draft pick, Green was overlooked by many NBA teams much like the Seahawks’ cornerback who didn’t hear his name called until the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Now an All-Star, Green is a big contributor offensively, but it was on the defensive end where the former Michigan State Spartan made a name for himself. Plus, Draymond talks a big game too like his “Beats by Dre” brandmate, Richard Sherman. Neither player ever has an issue being loud about their successes.”
Michael Jordan = Jerry Rice