10 NBA Stars Who Should Consider Baseball During the Lockout

George DarkowCorrespondent IJuly 19, 2011

10 NBA Stars Who Should Consider Baseball During the Lockout

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    With both the NBA and NFL caught in the midst of a lockout, the future for each respective sport seems a bit uncertain.  The notion of billionaire franchise owners and millionaire professional athletes being unable to find a way to peacefully agree on a fiscal balance is absurd enough to enrage a starving sports writer to the point of being unable to finish a Filet-O-Fish sandwich—acquired via coupon, nonetheless.

    But I digress.

    Though much coverage has been centered around the NFL lockout of 2011, the relatively young lockout of the National Basketball Association has taken somewhat of a backseat.  While NFL fans have been treated to daily updates on the NFL lockout via Twitter activity from the likes of Chad Ochocinco, Drew Brees, Larry Fitzgerald and others, NBA fans have been left to more or less wonder about the future of their sport of choice and the well-being of their most-beloved athletes.

    As the NBA lockout continues, and NBA stars are left to wonder how they will afford their entourages, SUVs and legal bills, there is an alternative source of income for a few select NBA ballers:  Major League Baseball.

    While several NBA stars may eventually find themselves contributing to the nation's unemployment rate, the following NBA players may be a nice fit for some MLB franchise in need of a special skill set.

    Here are 10 NBA stars who should consider baseball during the NBA lockout.

Rudy Gay

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    Looking good in a uniform isn't easy for some to do.  

    Rudy Gay, however, had no trouble fitting in and looking the part while taking batting practice with the Memphis Redbirds in 2009.  

    Though Gay failed to do what he'd initially set out to do—hit a home run—the Grizzlies star did manage to rocket a ball off the outfield wall.  That's a lot farther than some of today's major leaguers are capable of.

Tyreke Evans

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    2010 NBA Rookie of The Year and Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans joined Philadelphia Phillies Rookie of The Year winner Ryan Howard in 2010 for some batting practice at Citizens Bank Park.

    While Evans' golf swing doesn't appear to be of PGA Tour caliber, the tutelage of slugger Ryan Howard may be beneficial for a career in Major League Baseball.

Danny Ainge

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    Danny Ainge may be a little over the hill to consider a career change, but he does have something no other member of the NBA possesses:  MLB experience.

    Ainge, a former member of the Toronto Blue Jays, is currently the President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics.

    While a return to the playing field may be a stretch, Ainge could return in a front-office capacity for the Toronto Blue Jays and possibly bring some talent to Toronto to compliment superstar Jose Bautista.

    Worst case, Ainge could simply take a job as a coach and just scream at umpires and distract opposing players.

Gerald Wallace

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    While a member of the Charlotte Bobcats in 2010, Gerald Wallace took some batting practice with the Charlotte Knights.  

    Pay no attention to Wallace's skill for hitting a baseball, as experience goes a long way.  Wallace is among a select few in the NBA that have actually swung a bat on a professional field.  

    Chicago Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome received a $30 million contract with similar experience.

Dirk Nowitzki

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    While the Texas Rangers' effort to win a World Series in 2010 fell just short, the Dallas Mavericks stunned the world in upsetting the Miami Heat for the 2011 NBA Championship.  

    The difference between winning it all and coming up short in Dallas could be Dirk Nowitzki.

    Standing seven-feet tall, Nowitzki would instantly become the tallest player in Major League Baseball by four inches.  With flowing locks and a somewhat wild delivery, Dirk could be a Texas-size version of Randy Johnson.

Steve Nash

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    Some guys are just gifted athletes.  While Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash may not be one of the most physically gifted players in the NBA, there's no doubting the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player makes up for any lack of size with some true athleticism.

    While Nash may be a light hitter, his ability to throw some of the flashiest passes in recent NBA memory should translate into a nice career in a number of MLB teams' starting rotations.

    Extra credibility is due to Nash for his resemblance to former Bad News Bears star player Kelly Leak.

Derrick Rose

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    Derrick Rose proved during his NBA MVP season of 2010-11 that he can indeed dish the rock with the best of them.  Long before his MVP season, Rose took the mount for a ceremonial first pitch at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.  

    The result of Rose's stint on the mound:

    One pitch, one strike.

    Rose is undoubtedly the most adored athlete in Chicago at the present time, so why not give the budding superstar a chance at bettering one of Chicago's dismal MLB franchises?

Blake Griffin

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    As nasty as some of Blake Griffin's dunks have been, one has to wonder how the attitude and power Griffin possesses would translate into late-inning duties for the Dodgers.  

    With Jonathan Broxton on the disabled list, and no other member of the Dodgers bullpen possessing the intangibles necessary to be a successful closer in Major League Baseball, why not give Los Angeles's nastiest athlete a shot?  

Dwight Howard

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    Before the NBA lockout went into full effect, the talk around the league was all about Dwight Howard and his next destination.  Would the NBA's most prolific big man be headed to New York, Los Angeles or Chicago?  

    Now, with the NBA's work stoppage, what better fit is there for Dwight Howard than the Tampa Bay Rays?

    The Rays, historically one of Major League Baseball's least-attended franchises, could benefit from the star power of a mega-personality like Howard.  Furthermore, who could resist the idea of Howard jogging to the mound in the bottom of the ninth, wearing a suit and ripping open his shirt to reveal the signature Superman "S" before shutting down the opposition to preserve a Rays win?

    That alone should double Tampa's attendance.

LeBron James

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    With the summer of 2011 in full swing, it seems that there may be no better time for a sequel to last summer's blockbuster television special centered around LeBron James, The Decision.  

    This time, however, LeBron could announce he is leaving the NBA altogether and becoming a member of—who else—the Chicago Cubs.

    What better fit for the NBA's most championship-starved superstar than Major League Baseball's most championship-starved franchise?

    Like current and former Cubs superstars Derek Lee, Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano, James could have an MVP-like regular season and go on to hit .150 in the postseason.

    It seems too perfect.