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Brandon Marshall says NBA talk is serious

Earlier today the Dolphins made Brandon Marshall available to ESPN because, well, the team takes care of the World Wide Leader and they come with a bus. And Marshall told the network's Adam Schefter that if there is a lockout during 2011, he would spend his time playing basketball.

In the NBA.

Just moments ago, after the Dolphins completed their afternoon practice, Marshall was asked by non-bus-riding media if he's serious.

"Oh absolutely. Why not?" he said. "It's either going to be Denver Nuggets-- try to get a work out with them. And of course, I'll try to get a workout with the [Miami] Heat. I think the better option might be the Heat. Of course, those high salaries, I'll come in and play minimum. Just minimum. Not for free."

Marshall apparently believes he might have to take this course of action because a lockout, in his mind, is not a question of if, but a question of how long?

"When it comes down to it, it's a lockout," he said. "We as players we want football. Unfortunately, owners opted out [of the collective bargaining agreement]. And there's a lot of concern now. So the question is how long will the lockout be."

Marshall is a fine football player. But is he really NBA-good as a basketball player?

"Right now I'm rusty," he said. "Right now I'm no good. If I try out right now they'll say, 'What is this guy thinking.'  After some training I'll be fine. I'll be right back where I used to be."

This seems like good fun right now and it may come to nothing if the NFL poobahs and the players union poobahs find common ground and play in 2011.

But ...

If there is a lockout ... and Marshall remains on this course ... he's in for an interesting conversation with the Dolphins.

A team source just told me the club would not wish for Marshall to go hooping. The Dolphins are serious about football and want Marshall equally serious. And they have him under contract. So they would at the very least, ask him not to risk injury playing another sport.

I asked the source if there are clauses in Marshall's contract that could prevent him from playing basketball and I was assured the Dolphins don't think it would come down to having to enforce contract clauses to keep Marshall off the court.

But off the court the Dolphins would want him nonetheless. Even if he's not on the football field.