With the NBA Lockout in full swing and an end seemingly nowhere in sight, LeBron James of the Miami Heat has joked about joining the NFL so he has some work. A few NFL personalities including Seattle Seahawks’ coach Pete Carroll have entertained him. Now one more has joined the fray and it is the New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham who actually has some tips for the NBA star.
Graham recently sat down with Jeff Darlington of NFL.com and spoke of the possibility of James joining the NFL. Who better to actually discuss the matter then someone who was a basketball star turned NFL player like Graham.
“Listen, if that guy was on the New Orleans Saints, he would break records,” said Saints tight end Jimmy Graham, who spent his four undergraduate years as a scholarship basketball player at the University of Miami.”
In Sunday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Graham tied an NFL record (Tony Gonzalez) for most consecutive games with 100 yards or more receiving by a tight end. Both players sit together on the record with four.
Graham is a huge fan of James and actually watches his high school highlights for inspiration before his games with the Saints. He went nuts when James decided to take his talents to South Beach. The Saints tight end even went back home on days off last season to watch some Miami Heat games.
With the NBA season growing more and more in jeopardy, Graham actually came up with five tips for LeBron James to actually make it in the NFL.
1.) Forget tight end and play wide receiver
“No matter what anybody says, I would tell him to play wide receiver and not tight end. He would be a dominant wide receiver. Because he’s so athletic at his weight, I wouldn’t want him to gain weight to have to play tight end. Plus, you’d have to learn to block, and it would slow down the process. So if he was just doing it for this one season, I would tell him to be a wide receiver. Also, I would love for him to be a wide receiver because if he plays tight end, I’m going to be on the bench, and that’s going to be frustrating.”
2.) Take your talents to the Big Easy
“Don’t go to any team but the New Orleans Saints because Sean Payton is a genius and will figure out a way to get him the ball in all kinds of situations — and Drew Brees will throw him the ball in all kinds of situations. I know on this team, with Sean Payton and Drew Brees, he would definitely be utilized immediately.”
3.) Get into the playbook
“Definitely got to get in the weight room. Actually, no, because he’s already stupid strong. He’s such a beast. For him, it would be all about play calling. That’s simply what it would come down to. Where to go. When to go there. Just the intricacies of the offensive playbook. You’re already athletic enough. I know you can catch. You’re going to run by everybody or jump over everybody. The biggest thing would be to get into the playbook. That is a process for anyone because it’s so detailed. I wish I could invite him to a practice just to see how crazy it is. Sean will put the headset on him just to listen to the play calls.”
4.) Do it for the love of the game
“A lot of basketball players have reached out to me and asked what I’ve thought about it. They’re thinking about trying to play football again or trying for the first time. I just tell them if you don’t honestly love football — absolutely love it — then don’t do it. It’s not worth it. Everyone sees Sunday. Everyone sees the craziness in the Superdome. But there’s also Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Every week is the same. There are no breaks but the bye week. You’re going to be in there every day. I tell a lot of those guys if it’s about money — if it’s about anything but the love for the game — don’t do it. But LeBron doesn’t need the money. It’d be about the passion.”
5.) Don’t overthink it
“Trust his natural abilities. That’s going to be important. He’s a phenomenal athlete. And he’s very, very smart. I’ve watched almost every game that he’s played. I know his court vision — how he not only looks to get himself open but everyone else open. He’s not a selfish player. I honestly think that transition for him wouldn’t be that hard. He’s one of the best athletes in the world.”
Now the question remains if the NBA Lockout continues on…is the NFL possibly in the future of LeBron James?
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