“You’re talking about another sport with running and jumping, changing direction and throwing a ball into a net?” U.S. men’s basketball team guard Kyle Lowry said. “Yeah, I think we could figure it out. How much do they make?”The USA is not competing in Team Handball in the Rio Olympics. We didn’t qualify. More accurately, we didn’t qualify for the qualifiers.
Team Handball — you can watch it streaming at NBCOlympics.com — sort of looks like indoor soccer if you could use your hands to carry the small ball. There are a lot of designed plays, the best players are tall and quick with good leaping ability, can change direction quickly, and have good footwork. It’s something where the USA has athletes who would excel at the sport, but they gravitate toward other sports. Particularly basketball.
Which led the Washington Post to ask the USA Team Handball national coach how long it would take a freak athlete like LeBron to master the sport and become the best in the world.
“Maybe six months,” U.S. national team Coach Javier Garcia-Cuesta said. “This is just a hypothetical. He has everything. When you see him playing, your mouth drops.”
Stars of other countries were more skeptical.
Denmark’s Mikkel Hansen is pretty much the LeBron James of handball. He was named the International Handball Federation’s world player of the year for the second time last year. This year, he won the equivalent of the MVP in the French league. He would be the right man to ask: Could James be as good as him?
“It’s difficult to talk about that,” Hansen said, laughing. “I admire LeBron James very much. I’m a big basketball fan. The way he sees the court, his vision for the game, is very impressive. There you would have a good start. And physically, he is amazing. But you also need to throw the ball. So, yeah. Maybe.”
Many NBA players would be able to become very good Team Handball players if they put their mind to it. Of course that, not going to happen, and Kyle Lowry laid out why.
“You’re talking about another sport with running and jumping, changing direction and throwing a ball into a net?” U.S. men’s basketball team guard Kyle Lowry said. “Yeah, I think we could figure it out. How much do they make?”