People get mad when you insist if the United States sent their best athletes — typically meaning the guys who play football on Sundays in the fall or play above the rim in the NBA — then the U.S. could dominate any sport[.{restrict]

Fans of those “other” sports take it as an insult to their athletes, and understandably so. It is too simple to say that if Stephen Curry and Adrian Peterson grew up playing soccer then the U.S would be competing for a World Cup.

But give U.S. national handball team coach Javier Garcia-Cuesta credit for honesty. He was asked how long it would take Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James to become the greatest handball player in the world.

“Maybe six months,” Garcia-Cuesta told the Washington Post. “This is just a hypothetical. He has everything. When you see him playing, your mouth drops.”

That’s pretty amazing to think about, especially considering the source.

The arguments about how good James would have been in another sport — like if he had just stuck it out as a football wide receiver, which he played in high school — are fun because James really is a once-in-a-lifetime athlete. While I can’t give you a detailed scouting report on all the world’s handball players, what Garcia-Cuesta said makes sense. Olympic handball (which looks like lacrosse being played on a basketball court, except the players don’t have sticks and the ball is bigger) requires a certain skill set but it’s also easy to see the 6-foot-8, 250-pound James just overpowering everyone while he figures it out.

Denmark’s Mikkel Hansen, a two-time International Handball Federation world player of the year, waffled for a bit when asked by the Washington Post if James could be as good as him. Then he finally answered, “So, yeah. Maybe.” Think about someone asking Carolina Panthers quarterback and NFL MVP Cam Newton if some famous athlete from another sport could be as good as him in football if he tried. I doubt you’d get a “Yeah, maybe” type answer.

So if James ever wants to pursue another sport because he’s bored making the NBA Finals every year, the U.S. handball team would find a spot for him. [/restrict]