It's been up for debate before. Could LeBron have played in the NFL? He was a standout receiver at St. Vincent St. Mary. His body is a rock solid fortress of athleticism -- 6'8" and over 250 pounds. When he donned a Browns uniform for those State Farm commercials around the Super Bowl there was some lighthearted chatter. And now, ESPN has brought out the big guns, seeking the opinions of everyone from scouts to Bill Parcells on the question. Here's the first part of the story.
Mark Murphy hasn't merely witnessed the finest receivers of his generation. He has experienced them.
Murphy's 11-year career at strong safety was good enough to get him into the Green Bay Packers' Hall of Fame. He has covered, tackled and occasionally been scorched by legends.
On the subject of greatness, he knows what he's talking about.
"I've been around a lot of great receivers," Murphy said. "I tell people that I rate my top receivers — coaching, playing or watching — as James Lofton, Jerry Rice, Steve Largent and LeBron James."
Murphy wasn't delivering a joke or some abstract concept. He meant James, the NBA superduperstar, simply was that spectacular on a football field. Murphy saw it as the defensive coordinator at James' alma mater, St. Vincent-St. Mary High in Akron, Ohio.
The opinions vary from "could be All Pro" to wondering whether Lebron could stand the constant physical battles of the game. But, naturally, no one wanted to bet against LeBron. The consensus being: It wouldn't surprise anyone if he was great.
Because apparently the cleaning crew at his hotel were in his room.
Seriously, he couldn't film in front of a skyline of Cleveland? He couldn't film somewhere at The Q? He's in Cleveland covering the Cavs/Magic series and the best he could do was an empty Cleveland Browns Stadium? Unless you knew he was in Cleveland, and unless you heard him make a quip about seeing Brady Quinn throw a pass, you wouldn't have known Mariotti's location. Not that anyone would have gone looking for him anyway. Just strange.
The Cavs put together an amusing parody of
Heineken'sDos Equis' "The Most Interesting Man in the World" commercials. No embedding enabled, so click on over and check out the video. ("He travels the world and does not watch much basketball, but when he does, he prefers the Cleveland Cavaliers.)
Whether or not you've actually watched, you're probably at least aware that there's a documentary on Kobe Bryant out there directed by Spike Lee. It was plastered all over ESPN and such (you can read our film critic's review of it here), although the best comment came from Bill Simmons, who said in a recent chat that, "Every time he talked to a teammate they always had a look on their face like, 'Wait, why is he talking to me? He never talks to me.'"
Anyway, courtesy of Awful Announcing, we now know that that a new doc starring Kobe and LeBron, Dream Season 23 & 24, will air on May 21.
ESPN will televise Dream Season 23 & 24 presented by NIKE, a one-hour special Thursday, May 21, at 7 p.m. The program, narrated by six-time Grammy Award-winning and Emmy Award-winning artist Justin Timberlake, will chronicle the past seasons of Cleveland’s LeBron James, the league’s MVP, and Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant. From Olympic gold in Beijing to the quest for each to lead his team to the top of the respective NBA conferences, the cameras will provide unique access into James’ and Bryant’s preparation and stellar performances on the court.
What follows is exhibit No. 17,354 of the foolish things people with too much money do.
Yeah, that watch looks blinged out, but underneath, it's just a plastic Casio. Yep, just like the ones you and I wore in middle school. Except, this one has diamonds plastered all over the outside, which makes it fashionable, trendy, expensive, and just the sort of thing that millionaires with no idea what to spend their money on would want.
Larry Hughes supposedly bought 16 of these for Christmas presents. Shocker.
All I know is that I need a diamond encrusted snap bracelet, pronto.
Indians.com beat reporter Anthony Castrovince wrote a nice profile of Juan Lara, the Tribe minor leaguer who almost died after a vicious auto accident. Lara, now back at work throwing the baseball, has come a long way since his medically-induced coma and extensive surgeries, but obviously has a long way to go still. Most importantly, he's healthy, committed, and thankful for what he has. Great, uplifting, read. Here's just a snippet:
Back to baseball
The halo was removed in August 2008, and Lara felt human again. He picked up a baseball for the first time since the accident. Although he was still too weak to throw it, he wanted to see what it felt like in his hand again.
In December, at home in the Dominican, Lara asked his brother, Josi, to play catch with him.
"I felt fine," Lara said. "I just felt a little sore. I still remembered how to pitch. What you learn when you're younger, you don't forget."
The Indians didn't forget about Lara. They monitored his progress and, upon hearing about his games of catch, offered him another Minor League deal and the opportunity to rehab at their new complex in Goodyear. It wasn't a baseball decision, though the Tribe certainly wouldn't object to having another left-handed relief option in the upper levels of their system. It was done primarily to show Lara that he was still part of the Indians' family.