- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
OXNARD, Calif. -- Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, a passionate basketball fan, believes LeBron James would be a "beast" in the NFL if the reigning NBA MVP made a Michael Jordan-esque midcareer decision to switch sports.
Asked a hypothetical question about James' potential if he opted to focus on football, Bryant enthusiastically discussed with ESPNDallas.com why he thinks the 6-foot-8, 250-pound Miami Heat star could be an impact player as an NFL tight end or receiver.
"That dude is just that talented," said Bryant, who is coming off a breakout season of 92 catches for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns. "I think it would take him probably about a good two weeks to get very acquainted with football, knowing what he's supposed to do. I think that's all he'd need with his physical ability.
"I've seen a little bit of his highlights from high school. He's got the hands, he can run the routes, he's fast enough. He could play in this league if he put it all together."
James, who calls himself a die-hard Cowboys fan, starred as a receiver at St. Vincent-St. Mary's in Akron, Ohio, before giving up the sport as a high school senior. That seems to have been a wise decision, considering that the 28-year-old James has four regular-season MVPs and two NBA Finals MVPs as he nears the middle of his prime.
But Bryant sees James' combination of height, power, hands, speed and leaping ability and sees a potentially major problem for NFL defenses, especially in the end zone.
"All he'd need to do is probably work on a little technique," Bryant said. "It's not like he's never played football before. He has played football. I think he'd be a beast in the red zone. I think he could do it. I think he could do it, seriously."
In terms of the NBA, the Cowboys had another star at camp Thursday.
Paul is a die-hard fan who actually seems proud of the fact that he slept on Cowboys sheets while in college at Wake Forest.
"I'm like a little kid," Paul told reporters at the end of practice. "I've done a lot of good things in my career, but this is one of the highlights of my life. These guys probably have no clue what it means to me. I used to act like I was Ken Norton in the backyard playing middle linebacker."
5hEric D. Williams
1dSharon Katz & Hank Gargiulo