SEATTLE – Back in July, we noted that Oklahoma City Thunder guard Nate Robinson expressed interest in playing in the National Football League should the NBA’s lockout lead to a work stoppage.
“I might go play football,” Robinson told SLAM magazine at the time. “Do something that nobody’s tried to do.”
At the time, we noted that Robinson’s football background, quickness and athleticism made this a somewhat viable possibility and not just crazy talk.
One person who is listening to Robinson: Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.
In a Twitter exchange this week, Carroll invited Robinson, a Seattle native who briefly played cornerback for the University of Washington Huskies before dedicating himself solely to basketball, to the team’s camp.
The Seattle Times notes that Carroll, then a coach at USC, actually recruited Robinson out of high school and left open the possiblity of an NFL career for Robinson.
Robinson said via Twitter that he was ready to show Carroll he still had some football skills. “Coach give me a chance and I’ll prove it to u,” he said.Carroll said practice started at 1:30 p.m., and requested Robinson bring his cleats. Practice came and went without an appearance from Robinson.
“He may be a little distracted with basketball, I don’t know,” Carroll said afterward. “If he is, he probably won’t be able to do it. But if he can get focused, there’s always a chance.”
Obviously the key factor here is the risk of injury. Transitioning from one professional sport to a much more violent professional sport carries with it a significantly greater chance of injury than swapping the NBA for an international league. Robinson is 27 years old and entering the last year of his contract so he’s got a fair bit at stake financially over the next 12 months when it comes to future earnings potential.
Now that he’s been practically begging for a look, though, Robinson owes it to Carroll and to his fans to show up and give camp a try. It would represent a public relations coup for the Seahawks, who can always use some good publicity, and we would all get a better sense for how possible — or impossible — Robinson’s football dream would be to complete.