Shannon Sharpe Believes NBA Star Russell Westbrook Could Have Played in the NFL

Published 05/26/2021, 11:19 AM EDT
Mar 29, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) reacts after a three point basket against the Indiana Pacers during the fourth quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports


Russell Westbrook is one of the best players in the NBA. The Washington Wizards superstar is an absolute stat machine, putting up incredible numbers every game. Westbrook holds the record for most triple-doubles in NBA history.

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Westbrook has had several seasons where he averaged a triple-double. In 2017, Westbrook even became the NBA MVP, for his first incredible triple-double season. But Shannon Sharpe believes he would’ve excelled in football too.

Former Super Bowl winner Shannon Sharpe spoke recently about Russell Westbrook on Undisputed. he believes that Russell Westbrook could have played in the NFL if he wanted to.

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Given his size, frame, speed, and athleticism, Westbrook could have been a solid running back in the league. Sharpe noted that Westbrook is able to do things that players at his frame should not be able to do.

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“I just sit there and marvel at him and watch him. He is one of the few guys that when I watch him play, I say, ‘That dude could have been a hell of a running back, he could’ve played in the NFL with his mindset. He could’ve played at DB.

“Because he can do so many things, he’s Top-10 in rebounding as a 6’3 guard. That’s unheard of in today’s game. We know what he did assists-wise, led the league in assists by over 2 per game, because Harden didn’t qualify.”

Russell Westbrook- Possible success in the NFL?

Sharpe’s comments don’t come as a surprise. Westbrook is one of the most athletically gifted basketball players in history. He showcases that athleticism on a nightly basis whenever he takes the court.

For a player of his size, he has a scary combination of speed, strength, and explosiveness. All these attributes are incredibly necessary for a football player, especially at the running back position.

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May 10, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) shoots past Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (3) in the first quarter at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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Westbrook isn’t the only NBA player that people think could succeed in the NFL. Many fans and analysts have spoken about how successful LeBron James would be if he had played football.

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Furthermore, he also played football in high school, before he entered the NBA. And James has spoken about how well he thinks he would have done if he had stuck with football over basketball. But Westbrook is a strong shout for an NBA player who would succeed in the NFL.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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