Draymond Green

Newton cites Draymond's college football stint in NFL-NBA debate

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Former NFL MVP quarterback Cam Newton is convinced that NBA toughness can’t be compared to NFL toughness -- and he used Warriors star Draymond Green as an example to back his argument.

Speaking on his latest "4th & 1 Podcast,” Newton shelled out his reasoning for why playing on the gridiron requires a level of grit that can’t be found in even the toughest of NBA players, mentioning Green’s performance at the 2011 Michigan State football spring game to prove a point.

“It’s a different type of tough, it's a contact sport,” Newton said. “Man, you would get your block knocked off. 

“[I’ve seen] this take, [and] I couldn't wait to talk about it, but we [saw] what Draymond Green, a labeled ‘tough guy’ in the NBA, was doing, and granted, that was when Michigan State really wasn't really good. Let’s just keep it a buck.”

At 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds, there’s no arguing whether Green has the build for both the hardwood and the gridiron, which the forward proved over 10 years ago when he wore the No. 83 jersey and lined up at tight end for the Spartans. 

To Newton, however, it doesn’t just take a specific build to make it in the NFL.

“Now, when I talk about could LeBron play at Alabama, could Zion (Williamson) play at Alabama, some of those guys, like Anthony Edwards -- could they play at a Power 5 SEC, and be a threat?” Newton added. “I’m talking about somebody that you’ve got to prepare for. 

“Now, granted, these people are 6-foot-7-plus. I don’t even know if LeBron would be playing receiver let’s just put it like that. His body frame is what Jadeveon Clowney is, it’s what JJ Watt is. You see what I’m saying?”

In Green’s lone appearance on the gridiron, the four-time NBA champion was called for a false start on his first play and got jammed at the line (but drew a pass-interference call) on his second. 

Perhaps it wasn’t the best first (and only) impression of Green on a football field, but, ultimately, he attempted to become a two-sport athlete at Michigan State like very few, which Newton believes would have been impossible at the professional level. 

“What I will tell you is there is not 30 basketball players that can step into the National Football League and be a threat, they can play but we’re talking about a threat,” Newton said. 

“I also will agree with you by saying there is definitely not 30 football players that can step into the NBA and be a threat, not a player, could they make a team? Yes.”

Now, with an illustrious career -- filled with lots of tense, tough moments nonetheless -- under his belt, Green can afford to give his football career a second go and prove Newton wrong.

After all, he's known for wanting to prove that he's one of the NBA's few remaining bad boys.

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