NBA to NFL Crossover: Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari

Three-point specialist has knack for coming through in clutch
by Aaron Lopez
Nuggets.com

On occasion during the offseason, Danilo Gallinari has been known to kick a football around the basketball court.

The round black-and-white version, rather than the oblong pigskin.

With the NFL preseason in full swing, we thought it would be interesting to see where Gallinari and some of his Denver Nuggets teammates would fit best if they traded their basketball gear for a helmet and shoulder pads.

Kenneth Faried (defensive end), J.J. Hickson (linebacker) and Nate Robinson (cornerback) are lining up on defense. Arron Afflalo (quarterback), Wilson Chandler (tight end), Randy Foye (wide receiver) and Ty Lawson (running back) fill the skill positions on offense.

The Italian-born Gallinari fits the bill on special teams.

NBA Position: Placekicker

On the hardwood, the 6-foot-10 Gallinari makes a living knocking down 3-pointers. As someone who’s adept with his feet, he might enjoy knocking field goals through the uprights.

NFL kickers often trot onto the field with the game on the line, and Gallinari has shown a flair for the dramatic. He made eight 3-pointers in clutch situations (final five minutes of a one-possession game) during the 2012-13 season.

NFL Counterpart: Adam Vinatieri

When it comes to clutch kicks, Vinatieri is the gold standard.

The veteran placekicker has two Super Bowl-winning field goals to his credit and he has made 24 winning field goals in the final minute of regular or overtime during his 18-year career with the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts.

He boasts an 83 percent conversion rate on field goals and is 98.5 percent accurate on extra points.

Final thought:

Gallinari and Vinatieri share Italian roots. Vinatieri’s great-great grandfather Felix was born in northern Italy and immigrated to the United States with his family in the late 1800s. Adam started playing soccer when he was 5 and later became the kicker for his Pop Warner football team.

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