Clubhouse Viral NBA

10 NBA Players Who Should Grab a Tennis Racket

1 of 11

10 NBA Players Who Should Grab a Tennis Racket

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It is no secret that athletes enjoy testing their skills at other sports, which is a big reason why many play golf. Several incredibly gifted athletes excel at other sports because either they played that sport in high school or college, or their unbelievable athletic ability just spills onto a different playing field.

Tennis is a sport that several athletes most likely play for fun in the offseason because it is a very good workout. However, it is not meant for everyone. It has to be difficult for very large NBA players to move around on the tennis court because the ball is traveling at a high velocity. Not to mention, it is certainly not easy moving from one side of the court to the other in a split second.

With that being said, there might be some basketball players that enjoy watching Wimbledon or any other tournament and decide they can do that. The same thing happens to golf fanatics when they are watching a major tournament.

There are not many known basketball players who play tennis recreationally. The fact is it is not a sport meant for tall, lanky people. However, there is no question it is a great way to stay in shape in the offseason because it works several different muscle groups at once. Not to mention, it is a change of pace from sitting on the basketball court all day.

Make sure to check out the top 10 NBA players who should pick up a racket at some point this summer in order to see if they could succeed on a tennis court.

2 of 11

10. Russell Westbrook

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Westbrook is one of the most physically gifted point guards in the league. At 6’3”, he is certainly tall but not a giant, which would serve him well on the court. His size and outstanding speed would give him an advantage in several areas while playing tennis. There is no question he plays basketball with a high energy, something he could use to be a good tennis player.

3 of 11

9. Kevin Garnett

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin 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 tennis because he always gives the highest effort possible. More importantly, he knows how to play it mean, which has proven to give certain legendary tennis players the edge they need to be successful.

4 of 11

8. Steve Nash

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Nash is definitely up for trying out new sports other than basketball. In fact, he is a die-hard soccer fan who even tried out for Inter Milan soccer club this summer. The fact is Nash is a very busy guy who really only has time to concentrate on one other sport outside of playing professional basketball. With that being said, once Nash retires he may want to see if tennis is for him while he is not playing or watching soccer.

5 of 11

7. Brandon Knight

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Knight is exceptionally fast with incredible sprint and agility abilities. It would be very difficult to hit to the other side of the court without Knight being able to get to the ball and return it with authority. Considering he was just recently traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, joining a tennis club would be an easy way to make new friends.

6 of 11

6. Tony Parker

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Parker is very smart and quick, which are two attributes that would allow him to excel on the tennis court. His age could definitely prevent him from playing at a high level against younger opponents. However, with retirement right around the corner Parker is going to have to find a way to feed that competitive somewhere, and what better way than tennis?

7 of 11

5. Blake Griffin

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Griffin is a tremendous athlete who dominates on the basketball court. For that reason, I think it would be interesting to see what he could do with a racket on a tennis court. Griffin is definitely no stranger to attempting new things, which is why he would certainly not back down if someone challenged him one-on-one in a tennis match.

8 of 11

4. Derrick Rose

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

I seriously doubt the Chicago Bulls would be happy if point guard Derrick Rose was out on the tennis court this summer after missing all of last season with injury. With that being said, playing tennis would certainly get him back in shape in time for next season. However, I cannot imagine it being good on his knees.

9 of 11

3. Chris Paul

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Paul took his talents to the table tennis court and took first place in the TopSpin Charity event in late July. Even though table tennis is definitely different from actual tennis, there is no question Paul’s skills would transition well to a larger court.

10 of 11

2. LeBron James

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

There is no question LeBron James is one of the most physically gifted athletes in all of sports. The 6’8”, 250-pound small forward has a wingspan of just over seven feet. He is quick and can throw down from all over. The fact of the matter is someone as athletically talented as James could do wonders if attempted other sports.

11 of 11

1. Dirk Nowitzki

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dirk Nowitzki is No. 1 on this list because he is the only person among the 10 who has been confirmed to have actually played the sport. In fact, tennis was one of three sports he played growing up, with the other two being basketball and handball. In 2011, he even registered to play pro league tennis for the German club TG Wuerzburg. Whether he actually played for the team is unknown, but there is no denying that Nowitzki is a fan on tennis.