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10 NBA Players Who Should Enter the Boxing Ring

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10 NBA Players Who Should Enter the Boxing Ring

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Boxing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. For that reason, many believe athletes, especially those who play physical sports, would be able to transition well into a sport that involves constantly taking hits. Even though a majority of athletes could most likely never handle entering the boxing ring, who are 10 NBA players that should give it a shot?

For good reason, many believe football and hockey players to be the toughest men in sports. They constantly get hit, which forces them to endure pain like no other athlete in an organized team sport, with the exception of rugby. However, basketball players are tough too. Some of them have grown up in rough neighborhoods where knowing how to fight and defend oneself came with the territory. There is no question pickup games spiraled out of control, which usually lead to someone taking a fist to the face.

One does not have to look much further than the fights that have broken out on the NBA court over the years. Ridiculously tall men with insane upper body strength throwing punches is certainly a dangerous combination, especially when there is no one else big enough on the court to prevent a fight from breaking into the stands (2004’s Malice at the Palace is a prime example).

Even though the 10 players listed in the slideshow would most likely never pursue a career in boxing because of their age and the wear and tear they have suffered over the years, it is still fun to imagine what it would be like if they did.

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10. Blake Griffin

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Blake Griffin is big, athletic and can throw down a dunk like nobody’s business. He has also been known to get physical with other players on the court. I am sure there are other players on this list that would easily take Griffin in the ring, but he is still someone I can see trying boxing just to see if he is any good at it.

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9. Tyler Hansbrough

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Tyler Hansbrough is certainly not the most athletic guy in the NBA, but he has shown throughout his career that no one will get away with pushing him around. Hansbrough has already participated in his fair share of fights, which alones says that he has the killer instinct one needs to be successful in the boxing world. Tie that in with the 6-foot-9, 250-pound power forward’s 6-foot-11.5 wingspan and we have a basketball player that needs a trainer.

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8. Tyson Chandler

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One of the big reasons Tyson Chandler is on this list is because of how big he is. Chandler is 7-foot-1 and 240 pounds with a whopping 7-foot-2 wingspan. Simply put, his physical intimidation factor alone would strike fear in anyone that would step in the ring with him.

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7. Dwight Howard

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Even though Dwight Howard does not appear to have the mean streak in him to be effective in the ring, there is no question he has the size. The 6-foot-11, 265-pound center has a 7-foot-4.5 wingspan that would allow him to dominate over anyone who opposes him. No one would ever get near him with that insane reach, which is why Howard should almost consider boxing when his NBA career is over. Not to mention, he might need the money at the rate he is having kids.

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6. Ben Wallace

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Ben Wallace’s time in the NBA looks to be coming to a close, even if he does not want to retire. The 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward has seen his share of skirmishes on the court, including shoving Ron Artest to ignite the infamous Malice at the Palace. Wallace could be found in the wrestling ring once his career concludes, as he is a huge fan of professional wrestling.

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5. Kevin Garnett

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Everyone knew Kevin Garnett would be on this list somewhere, it was just a matter of how high he would rank. He would actually be ranked higher if it were not for the fact that he is 37 years old. With age aside, Garnett is one of the more intimidating and intense players to ever grace the NBA. His outstanding play on defense would certainly transition well to boxing because he always gives the highest effort possible. More importantly, he knows how to play it mean, which is critical in the world of boxing.

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4. Reggie Evans

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Reggie Evans is considered one of the dirtiest players in the NBA, and he certainly appears to enjoy fighting. He has found himself in the middle of a scrap on numerous occasions with some of them not ending very well. Evans is not the biggest guy on this list, but he is certainly determined to come out on top in a fight. For that reason, one can only assume that he would handle himself well in the ring.

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3. LeBron James

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There is no question LeBron James is one of the most physically gifted athletes in all of sports. The 6-foot-8, 250-pound small forward has a wingspan of just over seven feet. He is quick and can throw down from all over. There are not many players that enjoy going one-on-one against him on the court, and that same rule would certainly apply in the ring. James has the look of someone that could consistently knock out opponents in the first round.

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2. Gerald Wallace

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Gerald Wallace is another player on this list that is not incredibly big, but he is certainly someone that should not be messed with. He has seen numerous confrontations on the court in which he typically walks away on top. Wallace was given the nickname Crash due to his athleticism and incredible ferocity on the court. His strength is certainly something that would be a factor if he ever decided to box. Not to mention, he looks like the type of guy that could handle taking a hit. The fact that Wallace did not back down from a fight against Garnett in a game in 2012 shows just how tough he truly is.

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1. Metta World Peace

World Peace
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

I am confident that no one is surprised to see Metta World Peace as the number-one player in the NBA that should enter the boxing ring. World Peace has been a part of some nasty fights, including the Malice at the Palace. He was suspended a record 86 games after mixing it up with several players and then heading into the stands to fight the fans in Detroit. He has also been arrested for domestic violence. There is no question he has a violent mean streak that would entertain thousands inside the ring. With the right training, one has to wonder if World Peace would ever consider a career in boxing when he hangs up his sneakers.