Lions’ Quin: LeBron James ‘could probably play’ in NFL

Geoff Robinson
The Detroit News

Allen Park — It’s an argument as old as time. Well, it’s at least an argument as old as Lebron James’ basketball career.

It goes like this: James in the best basketball player in the world, but he also was a star football player in high school. Standing at 6-foot-8, 250 pounds and just being an all-around freak of an athlete, the thought is James could have been a good, if not great, NFL wide receiver or tight end.

James brought his Cleveland Cavaliers to Detroit on Monday night and proceeded to dismantle the Pistons.

Lions safety Glover Quin was there to see it.

Quin, a Pro Bowler, was asked at practice Tuesday about James’ ability to transfer his skill set to the football field.

“LeBron would get banged up,” Quin said. “I mean, he could probably play, I’m not saying he can’t. He’s a big, athletic guy. I’m pretty sure he’s got great hands, but can he block? I don’t know if that’d be his cup of tea, so then he’s only a receiving tight end. It’s different when you’re running around in basketball shorts.”

“Mind you, I’m probably the biggest LeBron fan. So if LeBron sees this, I ain’t hating on you, bro.”


James himself tweeted a fan in 2013, saying he wants to play one NFL game “before it’s over.”

Despite his doubts, Quin thinks teams would be interested in bringing James in for a tryout.

“I’m pretty sure if he wanted to play football, every team in the NFL would find a role for him,” Quin said. “Even if it’s at the five-yard line. Just go in and get up there real high and catch it. Who’s going to jump with him?”

Quin was skeptical about his own odds if he were to ever match up with James on the football field.

“I can get my hands on him, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to be able to move me. I ain’t going to sit here and pretend like I can jump with a 6-9 basketball player.”

Geoff Robinson is a freelance writer.