Seahawks’ Kenneth Walker says NBA players wouldn’t have easy transition to NFL: ‘It’s the other way around’


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Austin Rivers, the veteran NBA point guard, sparked a debate on X recently when he said he could take 30 players from the NBA right now to play in the NFL, but it would not happen if football players tried to get on the court. 

Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III begs to differ. 

“No,” he said bluntly to Fox News Digital while discussing his new partnership with RECOVER 180, an all-new, all-organic sports drink from beverage powerhouse Lance Collins, creator of BODYARMOR, among other drinks. 

“I think there are definitely a few athletes in the NBA that can play in the league or try to play in the league. But I think it’s the other way around. I feel like you can take NFL players and put them on the court.”


Kenneth Walker runs on field

Kenneth Walker III, #9 of the Seattle Seahawks, runs with the ball against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on Dec. 24, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

While Rivers gave options like the Minnesota Timberwolves‘ Anthony Edwards, New Orleans Pelicans’ Zion Williamson and LeBron James (who has been involved in this debate before), Walker pointed to his Seahawks teammate, DK Metcalf, as just one example of an NFL star who could thrive on an NBA court. 

At 6 feet, 4 inches tall, weighing 236 pounds, Metcalf is a freakish athlete with speed and leaping ability that dazzles considering his size, and he put that to the test in last year’s NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. 

Metcalf was not playing against the pros, but he was entertaining everyone with a performance filled with dunks, blocks and fast break points. 

“Definitely him because people saw he won the MVP [of the game],” Walker said. 


The debate has lasted decades with players in both leagues believing they are the superior athletes, especially those who have played the other sport at some time in their lives. 

Rivers said it on ESPN’s “The Pat McAfee Show” earlier this month, when the former NFL punter immediately questioned him. 

“You cannot take 30 NFL players and put them in the NBA,” Rivers said. 

Future Hall of Famer J.J. Watt jumped the gun with his response to Rivers on X by saying, “You don’t have a job in either right now, go head and try it.”

Rivers responded to Watt by not just adding his examples of Edwards, Williamson and a prime James, but he also said he meant no disrespect. He simply wanted to have the debate. 

Austin Rivers drives to the basket

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Austin Rivers, #25, goes to the basket as Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell, #45, defends during the fourth quarter at Target Center in Minneapolis on Jan. 14, 2023. (Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports)

“My comments weren’t meant to be disrespectful,” he said, to which Watt apologized in a later post. “Only a point to how athletically gifted SOME NBA players are…

“Now give me yours for the NFL to the NBA…I’ll wait. Notice I never said myself btw. So easy on the shade towards me.”

Rivers returned to “The Pat McAfee Show,” where he claimed former NFL receiver Brandon Marshall and Philadelphia Eagles running back Saquon Barkley hit him up to say he was right. 

However, Walker puts Metcalf into the conversation, and there are others like Cleveland Browns edge Myles Garrett, Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans and many others from the NFL who have been mentioned by sports fans on social media. 

Kenneth Walker III kneels in end zone

Kenneth Walker III, #9 of the Seattle Seahawks, looks on as he stretches prior to an NFL football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Seattle Seahawks at M&T Bank Stadium on Nov. 5, 2023 in Baltimore. (Michael Owens/Getty Images)

Until someone pulls a Deion Sanders or Bo Jackson and plays both sports at the same time professionally, this debate will simply be about who presents the better argument. 

Walker is not one who is going to test those boundaries, as the Michigan State product is rather looking forward to his third year in the NFL. 

He was not too happy with his performance last year, because he could not get back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons, though he finished just short with 905 yards and eight rushing touchdowns. However, he is putting in the work at the team facility during OTAs to make sure he is prepared to get four digits in the rushing column in 2024. 

To help him through those tough workouts, Walker uses RECOVER 180 to make sure that he’s staying hydrated. 

Kenneth Walker III walks on field

Kenneth Walker III, #9 of the Seattle Seahawks, walks off the field at the end of the first half at Lumen Field on Dec. 18, 2023 in Seattle. (Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)


“Usually I feel like with drinks that’s something for recovery or healthy, it doesn’t taste as good,” Walker said of RECOVER 180, where his favorite flavor is Fruit Punch. “It’ll be good for your body, but it doesn’t taste as good. With RECOVER 180, it tastes good, and it’s good for you. So it’s a win-win.”

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