CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James said he is "absolutely" a fan of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, but he wanted to remind the football star what position he plays on the basketball court. At Super Bowl media day earlier this week, Newton was asked whether he was the LeBron of the NFL, and Newton responded, "Why can't LeBron be called the Cam Newton of power forwards?"
"I heard that," James said Wednesday morning before the Cavs' shootaround in preparation for their game against the Charlotte Hornets. "I heard that. I'm not a power forward, though." A reporter then asked whether he was the Newton of the NBA, to which he replied, "I'm LeBron of the NBA."
James, officially listed at 6-foot-8 and 250 pounds, could certainly play power forward as his primary position should he choose to. But he's just fine with the small forward slot he's occupied for the majority of his 13-year career.
"I'm not a power forward right now, and I'm not slowing down any time soon," James said. "So, I like being a wing guy. It's cooler."
James was an all-state receiver when he played football in high school and said he dabbled at quarterback before that.
"I played a little bit when I was in the muni leagues, but not too much," James said. "My left tackle wasn't that good. So I gave that up really, really fast."
Newton, at 6-foot-5, 245 pounds, is big enough to play a variety of positions on the football field as well.
"He's a rare talent," James said. "And obviously his size and speed is just a rarity at that position. And then his height as well, there's not many guys that are 6-foot-5 or over in the NFL -- especially playing the quarterback position. So that's why, combined with his IQ, combined with his speed, his power and combined with the great guys surrounding him, that makes it very tough [to defend him]."
Newton sat courtside for the Cavs' 95-90 win in Charlotte in November