Lakers guard Josh Hart is quite good at basketball, but is pretty confident about what he might have been able to do on the baseball diamond had he stuck with that.
Hart threw out the first pitch on “Lakers Night” at Dodgers Stadium Wednesday evening, and during a pregame appearance on Spectrum SportsNet LA, he said pitching would’ve been his next choice if basketball hadn’t worked out:
“I pitched and I played left field, but I definitely would’ve went [pro]. If I didn’t play basketball, I would’ve played baseball. I like football, but for me there is no better sound than when that bat hits that ball. For me that’s the best sound in sports. My dad loved baseball. He grew up — his uncle played for the Yankees — and he grew up watching that, and that kind of love for the game trickled down to me, and if I wasn’t playing basketball I definitely would’ve tried to play baseball.”
Hart was reminded how many games are played in the MLB season and didn’t miss a beat.
”That’s why I would have been a pitcher so I would not play 162 games. Nah, you’re not going to see me out there 162 times. That’s a lot of running around. I gotta be able to stay in one spot, hopefully get a couple of complete games in. I would’ve wanted to have been a starter. Play every fifth day, then probably retire, have a couple Cy Youngs to my belt, a couple World Series. That’s what I would’ve had to do.”
As funny as those quotes might be, Hart may very well be right in his assessment, though.
Hart’s long arms and big hands would be very useful as a pitcher. By baseball standards, he’s also very tall, giving him even more leverage on his pitches. His athleticism in general would make him a very capable fielder and he has the coordination to hit a baseball, though very little would be expected of him there if he was a pitcher.
As good as he might’ve been, however, as a Lakers fan, I’m pretty happy he opted for basketball. He’ll play a big role in the success the Lakers hope to attain moving forward, and is just about the perfect role player for the direction the game has gone in. 82 games is fewer than 162 anyway, so this is a much better fit.