In his Wednesday morning press conference, head coach Doug Pederson had a very intriguing way of describing quarterback Nick Foles on the field:
"I think for him, he would probably tell you this, his basketball background, he treats it like a point guard," Pederson said. "He's just going to distribute the ball. That's the thing you see with Nick. He's a veteran player. He's played a ton of games. Obviously, he's been a starter in this league before, so that's something that he's comfortable with. And he just understands the plan and goes and executes."
Pederson sees Foles, who is a former basketball player, as a point guard in the way he facilitates the offense and gives other players opportunities. But do his teammates agree? We asked Eagles players which NBA player, past or present, reminds them most of Nick Foles.
Early on, there was a clear consensus.
Rodney McLeod: "Steve Nash. Steve Nash is legendary. He always got his guys involved. I always think of him as a playmaker, man. He was league MVP one time. Nick is a Super Bowl MVP, so they've got things in common. When you ask me for a point guard, he's someone who stood out to me growing up a lot."
Nelson Agholor: "I don't know, point guards in the NBA aren't passing like they should. Everybody is trying to score. He's an old-school point guard, he's Steve Nash. Point guards nowadays aren't trying to pass, they're trying to score. But not him."
Jake Elliott: "Steve Nash. Final answer. He's just calm, cool, and collected back there. He has a really good feel for the game and he finds the open man."
Deiondre' Hall: "I'd go Steve Nash. He can command it like, you can have faith that he's going to hold it down no matter age, number, whatever. You just know he's going to hold it down. Big time, big time."
All four of the first four players asked said Steve Nash without knowing each other's answers. From there, they varied a bit.
Golden Tate: "I would say Chris Paul because he can drive down the lane and dish it to somebody or he can set up at the top of the key and create a good play and then dish it off. It could be a pick-and-roll or whatever it may be. The unselfishness."
Nathan Gerry: "Jason Williams, Larry Bird come to mind. I'll give him Larry Bird because Larry Bird's fundamentals. He dishes the ball really well. He gets the ball where it needs to be, but he'll also make the plays when his number's called. So, I'm giving him Larry Bird. And he's a champion too. Larry Legend."
Shelton Gibson: "I would say, Rajon Rondo. The reason I'd say Rondo is that Rondo is silly but he's also a great playmaker and leader at the same time. Nick's also silly but he has his great moments also. He definitely has his silly moments in the locker room. And on the field sometimes, too, like in walkthroughs when it's cold outside, you'll see it from him too. But you'll see it from Rondo also."
Rasul Douglas: "Jason Kidd. That's my favorite point guard of all time. Jason Kidd is the type like, 'I could get 50 assists and I won't score a point,' and I feel like that's what Nick Foles is. 'I can get the ball to everybody and I don't want any attention.' And I feel like that's what Nick Foles is like."
Treyvon Hester: "I'm going to keep it 100. I'm going to say Dirk. Dirk Nowitzki. He's consistent. Whenever his number is called, he's ready to go. He's a team player. He's a leader. He's a great guy. That's a great comparison to me."
For a final total, four said Steve Nash and there were singular votes for Chris Paul, Jason Williams, Larry Bird, Rajon Rondo, Jason Kidd, and Dirk Nowitzki.
Oh, and there was one more vote for an NBA legend who Foles enjoyed as he stood at his locker and listened in for the answer.
Nate Sudfeld: "Oooh, with him standing right here? Who's the worst player to ever play in the NBA? I'm just kidding. I don't know. Magic Johnson. He's a distributor. He is really good at distributing, getting the ball out fast, playing in rhythm, getting guys going. He's a great leader."
Nick Foles on Sudfeld's answer: "That's a safe answer. I thought we were going to get into who would win a one-on-one matchup. It would absolutely be me."