Thursday, October 31, 2019

The best basketball player in the Detroit Lions locker room? T.J. Hockenson

Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press
Published 6:00 a.m. ET Oct. 31, 2019

Every week we ask six Lions one question that provides some insight to their childhood, personality or life now in the NFL. If you have a question you want answered, email it to Lions beat writer Dave Birkett at
This week’s question: If you can pick one teammate to play two-on-two basketball with, who are you taking?

OT Tyrell Crosby

“T.J. (Hockenson). Hands down, T.J. Dude can just straight up ball. He’s good. I’ve seen him just playing around a couple times. I’ve heard stories on how good he is, so I’m choosing T.J. Only person that might get a rebound over us is (Taylor) Decker or Kenny (Wiggins).”

Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson during the game against the Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019 at Ford Field. (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press)

RB Kerryon Johnson

“Oh, boy. I ain’t going to lie, I’m taking Hockenson. Hockenson can hoop a little bit. We did a little team event this past summer, Hockenson can hoop. I’m telling you, T.J.’s game is nice. And he’s tall, too. Yeah, I’m taking Hock. First of all, you see him, he looks dorky as shit, so it’s like, can this guy really hoop? Shit, he came out there and starting shooting. He had a nice little form on him. Then we did a little shoot-around and he was hitting things. I’m like, 'OK, Hock’s a hooper.' So yeah, I’ll take T.J.”

DE Trey Flowers

I might go with T.J. He got a jumper on him. He got a jumper on him that’s pretty nice. I would say somebody else, but I think I can handle the paint, I just need somebody on the outside so I can throw it out to make some shots. He’s pretty quick.”

S Tracy Walker

“That’s tough. Believe it or not, I’m going to take T.J. I’m going to take T.J. Cause what I seen from T.J., T.J’s nice. T.J. can play big, and so I can run point guard so we’re straight. And then we both big, long, athletic, so, oh, that’s tough. That’s nasty. But I don’t know. That’s a very difficult, difficult question because I ain’t seen too many of our teammates on the basketball court so it’s hard. Quandre (Diggs) can hoop, too. I’ll take Quandre. Yeah, I’ll take Nino. That’s tough. I’d take (Darius) Slay, but Slay’s going to want to be Kobe (Bryant) and I can’t have Slay out there trying to be Kobe. No, that ain’t the move.”

TE T.J. Hockenson

“I’ve got to pick one of the (tight ends). I’d probably pick Logan (Thomas). Logan. Quandre was my other teammate, though, so I might have to pick him, too. So one of those two, obviously. … See, Quandre can shoot, but I don’t know. That’s interesting. Logan, he’s a good basketball player. Big basketball guy. I don’t know if you know Logan too well, but big basketball guy. Size, can do it all. Post up on someone. Can shoot it. He’s a good candidate.”

CB Darius Slay

“I got to go with a big man. I can score the points, I just need somebody to get rebounds, so I can get Logan or somebody. I need somebody big to get rebounds. Yeah, Logan. He’s the tallest one. I got to get the tallest one. I just need him to grab rebounds. If we’re going to 21, I’ll score all 21.”
Contact Dave Birkett at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. Read more on the Detroit Lions and sign up for our Lions newsletter.

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