Blog Entry

Thunder G Nate Robinson wants to play in the NFL?

Posted on: July 12, 2011 7:10 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 7:23 pm
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Nate Robinson wants to play in the National Football League during the NBA lockout? Posted by Ben Golliver. nate-robinson

What better way to avoid a lockout in one professional sports league than taking on a lockout in another professional sports league?

That's apparently the plan for Oklahoma City's Nate Robinson. The diminuitive Thunder guard told that he would consider making a switch to the NFL if the NBA continues its lockout. 
“I might go play football,” Robinson told SLAM on the phone. “Do something that nobody’s tried to do.”

“If I can, I would love to play football a little bit,” says Robinson, less than half-jokingly. “I’ve been doing a little bit of training.”

“Why wouldn’t you want to have an NBA player that can play football try out? That’s a lot of publicity for your organization.”
While both leagues are currently in a lockout, the NFL is said to have been making progress in recent weeks while the NBA owners and players are not even at the negotiating table.

Robinson has a football background. As a freshman, he played cornerback for the University of Washington, intercepting two passes and making 34 tackles. His father, Jacque Robinson, was a star running back for the Huskies and went on to play one season in the NFL.

Does Robinson have a chance, or is this idle chatter? An NBA/NFL hybrid career is unprecedented in the modern era, made impossible because of their concurrent schedules. That said, elite athletes in the NBA are likely to be elite athletes in the NFL, given the similar demand for quickness, strength and agility. One would think the outside positions, wide receiver and cornerback, along with special teams would be the easiest places for a basketball-to-football transition to occur. And, at 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, Robinson is in the right ballpark to play corner and clearly has superior leaping ability, evidenced by his three NBA Slam Dunk crowns.

Still, the injury risk in making this type of transition is astronomically higher than playing basketball overseas. Re-learning a new, more physical game is a much more difficult proposition for a professional athlete than playing the same game you've always played in a different environment. Anyone giving Robinson -- who is just 27 years old and entering the final year of his contract -- good, sound advice would tell him to let the football dreams die hard.

Although it's far-fetched, this is a tantalizing possibility to think about. For a good time, check out this highlight reel of Robinson starring on the gridiron during his high school days at Rainier Beach, uploaded to YouTube by user atlhawks3.


Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: July 13, 2011 8:27 am

Thunder G Nate Robinson wants to play in the NFL?

The average size of an NFL corner is 5'11" +/- 1/2 inch, 190 lbs (yeah I googled that) so for those believing he is too small to cover receivers he is slightly below average with athleticism and leaping ability to make up that difference.  The 6'2 + receivers have an advantage on everyone which is why technique and position mean more than size.

No doubt he gets a look, and with declining minutes on the court he might seriously consider the full time commitment.

If nothing else he made a few million dollars while saving wear and tear on the body.

Since: Apr 9, 2007
Posted on: July 13, 2011 4:01 am

Thunder G Nate Robinson wants to play in the NFL?

Nate was pretty good db at UW.  I there are a lot of dbs in the NFL that shouldnt be there.  I believe Nate has won a dunk contest or two which means he can probably out jump a WR 6 inches taller than him.   Go Nate I wish you well.  Besides the NFL is closer to a deal than the NBA


Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: July 13, 2011 2:56 am

Thunder G Nate Robinson wants to play in the NFL?

NFL teams are serious about their programs. There seems no reason that a team allows a part-time rookie to take up a roster spot and then leave during the season. If Nate is serious about football he will need to sign a multi=year non-guaranteed contract to even get to training camp. There are a few cornerbacks who have been successful at 5-9 but it is a handicap against 6-4 receivers who also can jump.

The media has a fascination with NBA players going off the play elsewhere. Now even another sport. Dream away. The players that have contracts are not going to receive clearance from FIBA (which controls all basketball outside of the USA) to play in Europe. The Deron Williams story is a feeble attempt by the Turkish club to get attention and attract players who are not under contract. It is a good bet that Williams and the team know this and are being paid solely for offering his name. No attempt to get FIBA approval has been announced and no attempt is even likely.

So rest assured, my friends, that NBA basketball players will be here when they finally cave and sign the contract. The league received $160M this week from NBA escrow to distribute to the players who played last year (8% of their salary was withheld and now is returned). Even so come November the word is that many players are still spending money like it will continue in the fall. If so there will be a growing demand by those players to settle now., It is the reason the players caved in the last major lockout. Against the $160M for the players is a credit facility for teams to borrow through the NBA totaling $1B. It looks like there is no hurry to meet in negotiations again anytime soon. Sad for the fans and for all the little guys and gals who make their money working in the NBA arenas or in surrounding businesses. It just adds to the unemployment statistics.

Since: Dec 9, 2008
Posted on: July 13, 2011 2:34 am

Thunder G Nate Robinson wants to play in the NFL?

He might want to make the full-time switch to football

Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: July 13, 2011 2:24 am

Thunder G Nate Robinson wants to play in the NFL?

I watched a lot of these highlights and a lot more live.  Robinson was UW's best corner as a freshman,  and when a guy has another gear like he does,  there is a spot for him somewhere right?

Since: Jan 3, 2008
Posted on: July 13, 2011 1:48 am

Thunder G Nate Robinson wants to play in the NFL?

If a Team Let Brock Lesnar try out.  They will Let Nate Robinson Try out. 

Since: Oct 14, 2008
Posted on: July 13, 2011 1:47 am

Thunder G Nate Robinson wants to play in the NFL?

Just make sure there's a port-a-potty somewhere on the sideline for this guy.

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: July 13, 2011 1:22 am

Thunder G Nate Robinson wants to play in the NFL?

I watched him play in HS and College at UW. He was the Huskies' most athletic playmaker on defense and it was a huge hit to the team when he opted for basketball, although everyone supported his decision. He'd have been an NFL corner had he played all 4 years for the football team. Good cover skills, and seemed to make tackles like a Safety all the time. No reason this wouldn't work out for him. He's not getting any minutes any more in basketball, so might not be a bad idea to give it a shot.

Since: Jan 17, 2010
Posted on: July 13, 2011 1:11 am

Thunder G Nate Robinson wants to play in the NFL?

Amazing Highlights! Kick / punt returner would definitely be his calling card if he were to make it. Some other athletes in the past I would of liked to see try different sports are Deion Sanders try basketeball, and a young Rickey Henderson play running back in football.

Since: Jan 31, 2011
Posted on: July 13, 2011 12:10 am

Thunder G Nate Robinson wants to play in the NFL?

hes actually not a bad football player. im impressed. he has some good moves.

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