April 15, 2024

Cleveland’s Top Slashers: Gifted Athletes Who Might Have Excelled In Multiple Sports


As the Cleveland Guardians season enters full swing in the MLB, it’s a slow time for the other professional sports in The Land. The Cavaliers ended their offseason a month ago and Browns fans will have to wait to see Deshaun Watson take the first snap with his new team. But remember when Lebron James played in a flag football game against KD during the 2011 NBA lockout? Lebron has said in the past if he didn’t play basketball at the professional level, he might have tried his luck in the NFL. Having the King come home to play for the Browns lined up in the tight end spot would likely elevate them to new heights, especially with Deshaun Watson slinging it to him. Unfortunately, we’ll never know what might have been.

What about other Cleveland athletes that might have succeeded in a different professional sport?

Myles Garrett going from the football field to the basketball court would be amazing. The Browns’ star defensive end, Garrett is an athletic freak of nature who is constantly pressuring opposing quarterbacks on the field. We’ve already seen a fair amount of court time with Myles Garrett, whether he’s in the offseason keeping in shape, or a fan favorite at the Celebrity All-Star Game as part of NBA All-Star Weekend. Though he took the loss in his most recent appearance, Garrett posted an impressive stat line for an NFL player. He finished with 13 points and eight boards as well as three explosive dunks, showcasing his ability to get off the ground even at his size. Myles Garrett is 6’4 weighing in at 272 pounds and would be a terrifying sight dribbling towards the paint. I imagine taking a charge from him feels like getting hit by a Jeep.

The Browns’ legendary running back Jim Brown is another all-around athlete you’d love to see on the court. Playing in the NFL from 1957 to 1965, the man was an absolute phenom carrying the rock. Every season he was in the league Brown was invited to the Pro Bowl. He also led the league in rushing yards in eight out of his nine seasons. The cherry on top of an illustrious career is obviously the championship he brought to Cleveland in 1964. After the end of his career in the league, Brown was further immortalized following his induction into the NFL hall of fame in 1971. But during his high school days, Jim Brown averaged a then-record 38 points per game for the school basketball team. Unfortunately, there’s no footage to be found of Jim Brown on the basketball court, just outrageous statistics that highlight his overall athleticism.

And finally, who could forget Jesse Owens, the “Buckeye Bullet,” who set four track and field world records at the Big Ten meet in 1935 and went on to win a record-breaking four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics?  His speed and athletic prowess would have been an advantage for any professional sports team. Unfortunately, he had difficulty finding work after the Olympics. The MLB and NBA were still segregated. In 1946 he helped form the West Coast Negro Baseball League, which disbanded after a short time. And In 1965 he was hired as a running coach for the New York Mets. But he never played professional baseball – or any other professional sport. And that would have been something to behold.

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