Even in Year 18, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James continues to show how much of a freak athlete he is.
James entered the NBA as one of the most athletic and dominant forces the league has ever seen, but basketball wasn’t the only sport he could have played. In high school, James was a top-shelf wide receiver in Ohio and even received several Division I scholarships as a junior.
His physical traits are tailormade for football, and there is no doubt that he would have excelled at the NFL level should he have gone that route. With his size and speed, it is easy to imagine James beating defensive backs and coming down with highlight catches.
In an appearance on the The Colin Cowherd Podcast on The Volume, former NFL tight end Greg Olsen made a bold claim:
“If I could coach LeBron James for one year, I could make him an All-Pro wide receiver. There’s no question in my mind.
“I could turn Russell Westbrook into an All-Pro free safety. There’s a handful of those guys that could make the transition just because they are so unique. But there’s few and far between those guys.”
“But, yes, I do think [LeBron] could play NFL wide receiver. For how long? I think he would be stupid to stop playing basketball to come play football. But yes, I do think he could in the short-term. Yes, I do.”
Olsen was one of the NFL’s best tight ends and was widely regarded as one of the game’s smartest players so it is plausible that he could have turned James into a spectacular wide receiver. James has all the physical and mental tools to be successful at any sport, but it is fun to imagine what he could do under the tutelage of someone like Olsen.
James’ NFL career is a fun thing to imagine and it almost became a reality during the 2011 NBA lockout when he received a contract offer from Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys. Fortunately for the NBA, James decided to stick with basketball and that was undoubtedly the right choice.
James continues to defy Father Time
At 36 years old, most professional athletes begin to show their age as their speed and athleticism decline. However, James has not shown much decline in those areas as he is routinely still making plays that most players can only dream of.
James’ showing in his 18th NBA season is basically unprecedented so it is a good reminder to cherish what he is doing right now.
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