Top 5 NBA Players Who Could Have Played Soccer

06.10.10 8 years ago 43 Comments

Jason Kidd, Dime #40

With the FIFA World Cup set to begin tomorrow, it got me to thinking: Besides noted soccer aficionado Steve Nash, who else could take their game from the basketball court to the soccer pitch?

1. Steve Nash
During the offseason Nash resides in New York City, where he has trained with the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer (MLS) and is known to drop in on random pickup games around the city. I’d have to think that alone makes him number one on this list, right? We all know Nash has good footwork, but could he be a pro? In 2005, Nash was quoted as saying that he could have played professional soccer if he had focused on that sport instead of basketball. If you want additional opinions on exactly how good Nash is, just ask one of his many pro soccer player friends: Alessandro Del Piero, Thierry Henry, Owen Hargreaves, Massimo Ambrosini and Steve McManaman.

2. Leandro Barbosa
The “Brazilian Blur” has soccer running in his veins; everything he does on the hardwood, you can see a little inner Lucio trying to kick out. Barbosa has blinding speed, great agility, and a knack for being in the right place at the right time. I could only imagine how good Brazil would be if they had him at forward.

3. Jason Kidd
J-Kidd played soccer in high school, but even now at age 37, he’s still got an amazing motor and lower-body strength. His greatest asset on the court would have to be his vision and passing ability, which wouldn’t change on the soccer field. Now don’t get me wrong, it would take some practice to get the rust off. Obviously Kidd wouldn’t instantly be as good of a distributor as someone like Spain’s Xavi, but I would want him on my squad.

4. Manu Ginobili
Who doesn’t love watching Manu play? He’s got an unorthodox, herky-jerky style and great footwork that is evident in moves like his pet Euro Step. But honestly, the main reason Manu makes this list is simply because of his flopping ability. Manu has to be a Top-3 flopper in the NBA, and if he were to jump ship and become a soccer player, he would instantly be up there with Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the top floppers in the game.

5. Nene
Although he has very light feet and great agility for his size (6-11), the only real reason Nene makes this list is because of his name. He just sounds like a soccer player. Goal by NENE!!!!!!

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