Talking heads at ESPN are obsessed with the debate over whether Lebron James could play football, but it’s nothing but hot air. James is the best basketball player in the world, why would he ever play football, risking injury and embarrassment? But nobody on the 76ers is that good. With the first Eagles game hours away, I thought it would be fun to examine which Sixers could play football if they decided that all the losing this year is too hard to handle.
Michael Carter-Williams – QB
The pass first guard seems like almost too logical a choice to make the transition to quarterback. Would he be any good? At 6’6″ his excellent court vision and athleticism could make him the perfect fit for Chip Kelly and the Eagles’ uptempo, read option attack. He’s a bit thin, so sacks would hurt, but he’s got an intriguing skill set for the court and the gridiron.
Kwame Brown – Bust
Let’s be honest, this would be a disaster. But if Michael Jordan owned a football team, he’d make Brown the first overall pick to anchor his offensive line.
Nerlens Noel – WR
Noel could only be a specialist player, but imagine how special he would be. As a receiving threat in the red zone, a QB could just chuck it up and let Noel go up and get it. His size, vertical, and wingspan would be unmatched. You could almost see him as an extreme Randy Moss. A middle linebacker would split him in half, but imagine that flat top with helmet hair!
Lavoy Allen – G
Allen is a bruiser who could move some bodies on the interior of the offensive line. His size is more reminiscent of some offensive tackles, but I’m not sure he has the quick feet to stay in front of athletic defensive ends. The reason this wouldn’t work is that the quarterback couldn’t throw over his head. Most passes would hit him in between the shoulder blades.
The fact that this list is so short provides some actual basketball insights for this team. Football requires size, athleticism and speed, all things that the Sixers lack. Only three players on the roster have the necessary combination: Carter-Williams, Noel, and Thaddeus Young (and maybe Tony Wroten). Most young teams try to get out and run when they struggle to score. This team doesn’t have enough pieces to thrive on the fast break, so get ready for some low scoring losses.