It would take a heck of a player to knock Carson Wentz off his spot as Philadelphia’s favorite current athlete.
It would take someone like … well, LeBron James. Wentz is ready to do his part to make it happen.
James is set to become a free agent this offseason. When he does, the three biggest free agents in sports history would probably be, in some order: LeBron James in 2010, LeBron James in 2014, LeBron James in 2018. While there’s no shortage of speculation over which team will land James, every list includes the Philadelphia 76ers.
Wentz wants to help the 76ers get James, which really might be the most ambitious crossover event in history.
Wentz is ready to help the 76ers land LeBron
Wentz and Eagles teammate Zach Ertz were spotted at a Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Finals game last week. The mania over LeBron’s upcoming free agency is already in full gear in many NBA cities, including Philadelphia, so it didn’t take much to fire up the fun idea that the two Eagles were going to convince LeBron to come back to Philly with them.
While imaginations were running wild, Wentz was asked after Eagles practice on Wednesday if he’d help the 76ers recruit James. The Eagles star quarterback sounded like he couldn’t wait to be asked.
“Absolutely. Absolutely,” Wentz said (h/t to WIP’s John Barchard for the interview video). “I hope he’s coming.”
Wentz didn’t even downplay the notion that he and Ertz were there for that reason.
“Just seeing him live, we decided to make it a recruiting trip,” Wentz said.
Wentz said he didn’t get to speak with James — he was busy trying to take on the Warriors by himself — but that might not mean the trip was a bust.
“Hopefully he knows we were there,” Wentz said.
Could Wentz really sway James?
That Wentz seems to believe he could help get James to Philadelphia says all you need to know about the quarterback’s status there.
Wentz became an MVP candidate and the talk of his town in his second season. He tore his ACL and had to watch the Eagles win a Super Bowl without him, but missing the Super Bowl hardly dimmed his star power. He’s still a dynamic 25-year-old star. He’s set to own Philadelphia for the next decade. If he can help convince James to join the 76ers — Tom Brady couldn’t seal the deal when he was part of the Boston Celtics’ pitch to Kevin Durant — Wentz’s stature in Philadelphia would grow even more.
And it’s not like James is unaware of Wentz. There’s a mutual admiration.
Wentz might be the perfect recruiter for the 76ers
Last November, as Wentz was setting the NFL on fire, James noted that even though he’s a fan of the Cleveland Browns and Dallas Cowboys, he had a new favorite football player.
“My favorite player right now is Carson Wentz,” James said. “I told my brother that early in the season that I just love the way he plays the game. The way that he’s able to get to progressions throughout the course of a three-step drop or a five-step drop, and if everything breaks down, his ability to run, get outside the pocket, either make passes or get yards with his feet.”
These are some crazy times in Philadelphia sports. The Eagles are defending Super Bowl champs for the first time ever. Villanova is the king of college basketball. The Phillies have shown signs of life with some young stars. And the 76ers’ process is coming around.
And if Wentz can help land James, a new chapter in Philly sports will begin.
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