Membership
Get unlimited digital access. Try it today for only $0.99.
Topics

Miami RedHawks

Former basketball players are making names for themselves in NFL

Former basketball players are making names for themselves in NFL

Jon Gruden wouldn't budge. His Tampa Bay Buccaneers were weeks removed from winning the Lombardi Trophy in early 2003, and one of his players was asking for a favor.

Cornerback Dwight Smith wanted his childhood friend to get a tryout with the Super Bowl champs, even though his pal had played basketball in college, not football.

No dice.

"I said, 'What do you think this is, Dwight, the YMCA?'" recalled Gruden, who can laugh about the rejected request now, a dozen years later.

You see, that basketball buddy was Antonio Gates, a probable first-ballot Hall of Famer for the San Diego Chargers. With two visits to the end zone Monday night, Gates joined Tony...

Loading
61°