It's common fodder each year to talk about which NBA players could excel in the NFL, but one football player took crossover talk a step further when Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy told the Charlotte Observer that he could beat LeBron James in a game of 1-on-1.
Hardy gives up more than three inches in height to the reigning NBA MVP, but believes his additional weight would give him an advantage.
I'm not saying I would beast him, but I would definitely win. I got a good shot, I got good handles, I got good size (6'4, 275 pounds). I feel that we match up pretty well. I was a defensive player in college.
By "a little bulkier" the Panthers' DE means at least 25 pounds, as Hardy lists his weight at 275 pounds, but is officially listed as 290 on his NFL.com profile.
Hardy might not be a household name, but he's one of the NFL's more colorful figures. He prefers to be called "The Kraken" after a fan gave him the nickname in 2011. He also spearheaded a quest this summer to name the entire Panthers' defensive line "MonStrz Inc." giving each player individual nicknames on his Instagram account.
It takes either supreme confidence or unparalleled hubris to believe you can beat the best player in the NBA, something Hardy walked back a little to close his interview.
Yeah, it would be a tight game. I'm not saying I would dominate him. That was a joke. I feel like I'd definitely win. I think there's a game there. I don't think that I'm trash and I don't think that he's trash. I think it'd be two dominant athletes playing and I'd come out on top.
Maybe Hardy wouldn't beat James, but this is a man who broke the Soldier Field goalpost when he dunked on it before a 2011 game against the Chicago Bears.
There's a big difference between beating an immobile set of posts in Chicago and topping the NBA's best in Miami. We'd like to see Hardy learn this the hard way. Get that film crew ready.