Why choose between football and basketball when you can have both? No, I will not be combining the sports, but I will be combining the players within them. Now, I know most NFL players couldn't play in the NBA and vice versa, but if they did, these are the players that they would resemble the most. This list is mostly comparing the stars of their respective leagues because using little known players would probably be a stretch.
Every NFL player has their own personality and play style, but there are some NBA players who are eerily similar. I have matched select NFL players with NBA players who I think are alike. These matches may be based on the player's size, skill sets, past injuries and some may even be off of their personality and off the court/field. Sometimes, you probably ask yourself who the LeBron James of the NFL is, or who the Tom Brady of the NBA is. Well look no further, in this list I will answer those questions. There are no perfect comparisons but I think these dudes get pretty darn close. Some players may like their comparisons and some may not, but either way, the players involved in this list are good at what they do, and that can't be denied.
Below is the list of my player comparisons. Would you add any comparisons? Would you change any? Let me know what you would do if you were making a list such as this. I hope you have as much fun reading this article as I had writing it.
15 DeSean Jackson - Jamal Crawford
Neither of them are close to the best players in the league, but they are good at what they do. They are explosive with their crossovers and route running respectively. They aren't shy about trying to make you look silly and they provide a huge spark whenever they are called upon. Sometimes they could also be frustrating to watch, because their raw talent breeds high expectations. They'll often leave you wanting more.
14 Sammy Watkins - Andrew Wiggins
Both Sammy Watkins and Andrew Wiggins are second year players with a lot of hype coming out of college. This pair has a ton of potential between them. They each came into the league and made an immediate impact. These guys look to be franchise players in their years to come and I wouldn't bet against them. They both have all of the tools in order to succeed it's now just up to them to put it all together. Both guys also need more talent around them.
13 Jamaal Charles - Kyrie Irving
You could make an argument that these two guys are the most agile and quickest players in their sport. Kyrie will cross you from left to right and then leave you on the ground embarrassed and Jamaal will juke you so fast that within a blink of an eye, he's gone. Jamaal may call himself the the LeBron of the NBA, "I feel like sometimes I'm the Lebron [James] of football, especially at my position, because I can do so much,” but I like to think of him more like his Cavalier comrade.
12 Antonio Brown - Russell Westbrook
These two guys have fire in their eyes and a motivation to succeed. Unlike other players in the leagues, these guys are there for the paycheck. They will do anything and everything to get their team the, "W". These guys are such game-changers and any team in their leagues would love to have them on their teams. Antonio Brown also got named the toughest player to cover by ESPN and I think Russell Westbrook may be the toughest player to cover in the NBA.
11 Dez Bryant - Carmelo Anthony
Dez and Carmelo are both excellent at scoring, and can be jerks to their teammates. There is no doubt that Carmelo can put the ball in the bucket or that Dez can burn you deep. The only issues with these guys is that it's all about them. Dez has become famous for throwing fits on the sidelines when he isn't getting the ball 15 times a game. Carmelo also loves to have the ball in his hands and while he doesn't make it as obvious, he does get fed up quickly. When asked about Melo, NBA executives say "He's probably Robin on a championship team instead of Batman. He has Batman talent, but the intangibles are missing."
10 Kelvin Benjamin - Jabari Parker
Another pair of 2nd year players. They also share some injury history. In Jabari's rookie season and before the start of Kelvin's second season, they had unfortunate ACL injuries. Unlike the RG3 - Rose comparison, these two still seem to have bright futures ahead of them. They are on playoff teams with very promising futures ahead of them. We're hoping both will stay healthy from here on out.
9 Odell Beckham - Steph Curry
These two might be the most polarizing athletes in their own sport. On and off the court, people follow each and every step that they make. Their flashy play is similar whether it's Odell making absurd one handed catches or Steph splashing 35 foot 3 pointers as time expires. I feel bad for you if you don't like these guys because they get plenty of attention from social media. Oh and not to mention that they are both relatively small for the sport that they play.
8 Darren Sproles - Isaiah Thomas
These miniature players actually use their size to their advantage. They like to weave in and out of their defenders, running around their ankles and making them dizzy. They are the shifty type and the neither of them were huge prospects coming out of college. Thomas was actually the last pick of the entire NBA draft. Granted, there are only two rounds, but that's pretty impressive. Sproles wasn't drafted as the last pick, but he was taken in the fourth round which isn't a spot reserved for premier talents, although that's exactly what Sproles became.
7 Richard Sherman - Kawhi Leonard
These guys will cover you like a blanket. Kawhi Leonard was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year last season and Richard Sherman is once of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. Although their personalities may not match, they play their games in an extremely similar ways. They both even have some pretty cool hair. Both guys butter their bread by playing the less glamorous side of the game, in charge of stopping the opposition.
6 A.J. Green - Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant is well known for being an extremely long and lanky, and maybe the most versatile scorer in the league, and A.J. Green fits that mold exactly. These guys like to play off the the ground, and up above their opponents. Stopping these guys is almost impossible considering their impressive length and wingspan. Kevin Durant even recognizes AJ Green on twitter by saying, "AJ Green is too real!" in one of his tweets from 2012.
5 Arian Foster - Paul George
Both of these guys have the potential to be the best in the league. When they are healthy that is. These stars are very important to their team and are greatly missed when they are out. Foster has had a wider array of injuries including knee injuries and George is no newbie to leg injuries either. George gruesomely broke his leg during a USA exhibition game and missed almost an entire season. Foster is now looking for a new team.
4 Robert Griffin III - Derrick Rose
RG3 used to be one of the most explosive players in the NFL. The same can be said for Derrick Rose. Ever since their injuries, they haven't even been a half of what they used to be. RG3 looked like he was going to be the next big thing in the NFL after his rookie season, but everything went down from there. Rose is in the same boat as RG3. While it wasn't his rookie season, while Rose was extremely young he won the NBA MVP award. In fact Rose was the NBA's youngest ever MVP at 22 years old. Nobody could have predicted him being an average, to below average point guard in the NBA. But thats what ACL injuries will do to you.
3 Calvin Johnson - LeBron James
- USA TODAY Sports[/caption]
I was thinking about comparing Marshawn Lynch to LBJ but who am I kidding. If LeBron was in the NFL he would be a receiver. Calvin and LeBron are just big, brutal bodies who no one wants to have to face. They are around the same age and they have been putting up quality numbers their entire careers (even though Calvin has recently retired). They use their size to their advantage. LeBron attacks the rim with reckless abandon and Calvin soars above the smaller cornerbacks to easily catch a bomb thrown by Matthew Stafford.
2 Tom Brady - Kobe Bryant
Where to start? First, both are total winners. Kobe has five rings and Brady has four. Also, these guys are some of the best players of all time. Additionally, both of these guys have only played for one team their entire career. They are each the face of their franchises and have been around for quite a long time now. On a less positive note, they are each hated by many despite their success. Brady most likely because he has been accused of cheating on multiple occasions and Bryant because he loves the spotlight.
1 Peyton Manning - Tim Duncan
I think this might be the closest to perfect comparison there is between the two sports. These two dinosaurs are the grandfathers of the their games. Neither of them have been in their prime recently, but they are still productive enough to win down to their last game as we saw with Manning. They are each on championship caliber teams and would never take that for granted. These guys are probably the farthest away from the Steph- Odell comparison as you could get. Each are so respected in their game and love to stay out of the spotlight.