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NBA lockout could lead Nate Robinson to try the NFL

Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks - Game Two Getty Images

With the NBA’s lockout just starting and likely to last several months, and the NFL’s lockout (we hope) nearing its conclusion, one NBA player is talking about giving pro football a try.

Nate Robinson of the Oklahoma City Thunder, a 5-foot-9 point guard who has won the Slam Dunk Contest three times, says he’s hoping some NFL team will consider giving him a shot in training camp.

I might go play football,” Robinson told SLAM. “Do something that nobody’s tried to do.”

It might sound like a joke, but Robinson says he’s serious, and it’s not totally unreasonable to think he could do it. Robinson was a pretty good cornerback at Washington before he decided in 2003 to focus full-time on basketball. And in a column at NFL.com, Gil Brandt, the former Cowboys executive, writes that if Robinson had been around during Brandt’s time in Dallas, the Cowboys would have brought him to camp.

However, saying Robinson could do it is a lot different than saying Robinson will do it. As our buddy Kurt Helin pointed out at ProBasketballTalk, if Robinson wants the $4.5 million remaining on the final year of his current NBA contract, there’s no way he’s going to risk a serious injury in an NFL training camp, where he’d be putting his body on the line just for a shot at an NFL minimum salary.

On the other hand, if Robinson really wants to play football, and if he thinks the NBA lockout could wipe out the entire season, maybe attempting to play football is worth the risk of injury. It would be fun to watch Robinson give it a shot.

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43 Responses to “NBA lockout could lead Nate Robinson to try the NFL”
  1. themitchdraft says: Jul 12, 2011 7:55 PM

    Could be an interesting development. The guy is small even for a corner but he can jump through the roof. Injuries may scare him off in the end, but he’d make for some intriguing training camp fodder.

  2. 808raiderinparadise says: Jul 12, 2011 7:57 PM

    Gruden on Nate Robinson: ” Man, I love this guy. 5’9 and won a NBA slam dunk contest, you can bet any number of teams are salivating over that kind of athleticism. I call him mighty mouse.”

    (pretty good right?) Ha.

    I say Bengals.

  3. doe22us says: Jul 12, 2011 7:58 PM

    he does have some serious hops there, and he is very quick but nowhere will he put that guaranteed 5 mill at risk. However, who am i kidding i wasnt caught pissing in public.

  4. duanethomas says: Jul 12, 2011 7:59 PM

    Not going to happen, this is silly talk just like Nate Robinson is silly. This is as viable as Tony Romo going to play on the PGA tour, just silly.

  5. sdboltaction says: Jul 12, 2011 8:02 PM

    Not everyone can be the next Antonio Gates!

  6. chizzle20 says: Jul 12, 2011 8:11 PM

    Do it! I just want to see if he can last through training camp.

  7. daburgher says: Jul 12, 2011 8:13 PM

    nba players are too soft for the nfl… ex. dwayne wade required a wheel cheer to exit the court for a shoulder injury.. and he’s known for being a tough guy in the nba…

  8. pantherspaul says: Jul 12, 2011 8:15 PM

    Update me when Lebron says he is making the switch.

  9. yankeesjetsknicksrangers says: Jul 12, 2011 8:23 PM

    Its all fun and games till a 240 lb running back breaks loose and is heading in your direction.

  10. buckybadger says: Jul 12, 2011 8:26 PM

    He is 5’9″. Far too small to play corner in the NFL and hasn’t covered a receiver in years. Nice story but it won’t happen.

    He would be foolish too if he did. Go from the sport that on average pays the most to the sport that pays the least of the major sports which is very injury prone.

  11. daburgher says: Jul 12, 2011 8:27 PM

    nba players are too soft for the nfl… ex. dwayne wade required a wheel cheer to exit the court for a shoulder injury.. and he’s known for being a tough guy in the nba…

  12. contra74 says: Jul 12, 2011 8:29 PM

    Lets see how much those hops are affected by pads and a helmet.

  13. whatchutalkinabouthillis says: Jul 12, 2011 8:30 PM

    No thanks

  14. donttouchthedirtypenny says: Jul 12, 2011 8:30 PM

    Child, please!

  15. caliviking805 says: Jul 12, 2011 8:33 PM

    Oklahoma should trade Nate Robinson for Brandon Marshall of the Dolphins.

  16. descendency says: Jul 12, 2011 8:56 PM

    There is basketball speed and there is football speed. They don’t necessarily translate.

    You bring a guy in who you think can play DB and you get him out on the field and give him a 40 yard dash test and he runs a 5.0. That’s the difference between football and basketball. (yes, 40s require a lot of training and whatnot, but ignore that) Quick on a basketball court is a burst over 10 feet. Maybe 20. Quick on a football field is 20 yards.

    And playing college db doesn’t mean you have pro football speed.

  17. silverhornet says: Jul 12, 2011 8:57 PM

    If he can dribble a football, well that would be impressive.

  18. eaglesfootballfan says: Jul 12, 2011 8:57 PM

    Defensive players in the NFL would murder Nate Robison. Stay to basketball, NATE.

  19. imjustabloggerdotcom says: Jul 12, 2011 9:06 PM

    Practice Squad

  20. romoscollarbone says: Jul 12, 2011 9:13 PM

    When you haven’t hit/been hit since 03, You can’t just hop into a training camp scenario and excel. The soreness he would feel would be unreal.

    He is Kryponate though, so anything is possible.

  21. kirkmcguirk says: Jul 12, 2011 9:14 PM

    buckybadger says: Jul 12, 2011 8:26 PM

    He is 5’9″. Far too small to play corner in the NFL.

    ——————————

    I hope you’ve been neutered.
    :facepalm:

  22. realitypolice says: Jul 12, 2011 9:21 PM

    buckybadger says:
    Jul 12, 2011 8:26 PM
    He is 5’9″. Far too small to play corner in the NFL and hasn’t covered a receiver in years. Nice story but it won’t happen.
    ===================

    Darrell Green, one of the greatest CB’s in NFL history, was 5’9″.

    Darrelle Revis is 5’10”

    Bob Sanders (I know he’s a safety, but still) is 5’8″

    I don’t think Robinson will make it either, but not because of his size.

    And I agree with your second point 100% about him being a fool for even considering it.

  23. ohiodeerhunter says: Jul 12, 2011 9:24 PM

    Yep…cause so many hoops players make it big in NFL.

  24. nfceastisbeast says: Jul 12, 2011 9:34 PM

    He’s an NBA 5’9″….which means he is probably about 5’7″

  25. jetsarestacked says: Jul 12, 2011 9:36 PM

    not impossible considering how few quality cornerbacks there are in the nfl. also, corners tend to be around his size anyways. who knows? maybe he could be a nickle or dime type of corner.

  26. harmcityhomer says: Jul 12, 2011 9:38 PM

    I think he could do it. He is a thick and quick little guy built like MJD and Cb is not the most brutal position.

  27. realitypolice says: Jul 12, 2011 9:47 PM

    ohiodeerhunter says:
    Jul 12, 2011 9:24 PM
    Yep…cause so many hoops players make it big in NFL.
    ================

    Yep….because so many try.

  28. cowboysfan18 says: Jul 12, 2011 9:53 PM

    Tell you what, put him on AJ and tell him to do some press. If he isn’t lying on the line crying or running to the ref asking for a charge, then give him a shot.

  29. michaelskakel says: Jul 12, 2011 10:09 PM

    Outside of Ike Taylor (who is scheduled to be a free agent), I’m pretty sure I’d take him over any other corner the Steelers currently have under contract. *sigh*

  30. jbeatzz says: Jul 12, 2011 10:10 PM

    people act like he didnt start as a D1 cb and was pretty good, he wasnt just on the team like mcnabb and syracuse bball…average cb is about 5’9″ so it could be done especially with his athleticism…would be interesting to see…not like hes tearin up the nba but that gaurunteed money is sweeet

  31. bradwins says: Jul 12, 2011 10:10 PM

    If I was Nate Robinson, I’d do it regardless whether he thinks the NBA is going to miss the season. If the NBA season starts, go back to OKC. There is a risk of injury, but how fun would it be to just show up and play football for a while?

    For the same reason, I though people giving Chad Johnson a hard time about playing soccer are idiots. If you can do it, why wouldn’t you?

    Plus, I’d just want to play something if I were a professional athlete. If I couldn’t play football or soccer or anything else, I’d go to Europe like Deron Williams.

  32. buckybadger says: Jul 12, 2011 10:11 PM

    realitypolice says:
    Jul 12, 2011 9:21 PM
    buckybadger says:
    Jul 12, 2011 8:26 PM
    He is 5’9″. Far too small to play corner in the NFL and hasn’t covered a receiver in years. Nice story but it won’t happen.
    ===================

    Darrell Green, one of the greatest CB’s in NFL history, was 5’9″.

    Darrelle Revis is 5’10″

    Bob Sanders (I know he’s a safety, but still) is 5’8″

    I don’t think Robinson will make it either, but not because of his size.

    And I agree with your second point 100% about him being a fool for even considering it.

    ———————–

    He is a squat 5’9″. Short arms.

    Revis is 5’11” according to his team page with long arms.

    Green played in a different era and had exceptional speed and skills.

    If you are going to be small you have to be exceptionally good. Nate ain’t it.

  33. ohiodeerhunter says: Jul 12, 2011 10:13 PM

    @ realitypolice

    “Yep….because so many try.”

    U hear about it every year and doesn’t work out. Maybe Gates.

  34. trbowman says: Jul 12, 2011 10:36 PM

    Like I care about the NBA…..it’s a rigged league, barely a step above the WWE.

  35. nxsteven says: Jul 12, 2011 11:08 PM

    Nate Robinson averaged under 18 minutes a game and he’s due 5m? Shocking that the NBA is in a lock out.

  36. realitypolice says: Jul 12, 2011 11:14 PM

    buckybadger says:

    He is a squat 5’9″. Short arms.

    Revis is 5’11″ according to his team page with long arms.

    Green played in a different era and had exceptional speed and skills.

    If you are going to be small you have to be exceptionally good. Nate ain’t it.
    ====================

    Or, if you are going to be small, you have to be exceptionally fast and have a vertical leap of 43.5 inches that allows you to win the NBA slam dunk contest 3 times.

    As far as 5’9″ versus 5’11”- put your thumb and your index finger two inches apart. This is the difference between being able to play or not play in the NFL?

    Again, I don’t think he would make it either. I just object to the idea that it is impossible for him to do so strictly because he is a “squat 5’9″.

  37. skins359 says: Jul 13, 2011 12:19 AM

    He sounds like he could be a decent prospect but his terrible vertical makes me doubt his ability to make the transition.

  38. intelligentresponse9 says: Jul 13, 2011 1:03 AM

    To everyone on here who thinks he can’t do it, maybe this will change your mind.

    Nate is as athletic as anyone in the NFL today and at 5’9, not that small for a CB. Let’s not forget he played at the University of Washington and was pretty good.

    I’m not saying that he can do it but it would definitely be fun to watch!

  39. jcd213 says: Jul 13, 2011 3:17 AM

    Nate has a huge heart, something many athletes of all sports lack. I, personally, will be rooting for him.

  40. boknowsvt says: Jul 13, 2011 4:50 AM

    You don’t have to be physical to play corner in the NFL, just ask Deion Sanders.

  41. indianheadmeatpackingcompany says: Jul 13, 2011 7:48 AM

    NFL football is easy. Anybody can do it. There’s no sarcasm here… People need to deflate their damn egos.

  42. andyreidisfat says: Jul 13, 2011 8:42 AM

    I think it would be fun to watch the guy try. He doesn’t have to worry about that 5 million because he will never see it. he NBA isn’t going to be playing this season. Its just not going to happen and even if it does with the hard cap system they will soon have poor nate will be on the chopping block anyway.

    He was better than average in college and has played a professional sport ever since its not like he’s been bombing on NBC for the last 4 years or something (Tiki I’m lookin at you). He’s fast as hell and jumps good. I doubt he makes it but i give him props if he trys

  43. Tim says: Jul 13, 2011 11:45 AM

    Funny nobody told him that the NFL ALSO has a lockout going on..

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