What is often forgotten about Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is that while he became the biggest high school basketball star ever, he was also the top rated wide receiver in the state of Ohio.
James was a First Team All-State selection as a junior and had numerous Division 1 scholarship offers, though a wrist injury prevented him from playing in his senior season.
With his unreal combination of size, strength, and speed many have speculated that James could have played in the NFL if he chose that route. Considering he’s one of the greatest basketball players of all-time he clearly made the right choice, but picturing him running routes and towering over defensive backs for jump balls is fun as well.
Although long considered more speculation than actual possibility, James playing in the NFL could have been a reality earlier this decade. During the 2011 NBA lockout, as players were unsure whether or not the season would take place, James said he actually began to train in football, as he revealed during the most recent episode of “After Party,” via Uninterrupted:
“To be honest, it actually was. I had no idea how long the lockout was going to be. Myself and my trainer, Mike Mancias, we really started to actually train to be a football player when it came to, like, October and November. We started to clock our times with the 40s, we started to add a little bit more in our bench presses and things of that nature. We started to add more sledding to our agenda and workouts. Mike kept talking about it would be great to go to Irving, Texas. Mike, he’s from Texas, those Cowboys fans. The thoughts came into my mind.
“Never having the ability to finish my high school career playing my senior year, I have dreams all the time about playing football. It’s crazy, because I actually never run on the field in my dreams. It always gets to the point where I’m either in the locker room or getting dressed or talking about it. As soon as I’m about to run on the field, something happens in my dream.”
James’ mild exploration into an NFL career prompted Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to actually offered him a contract, Maverick Carter noted:
“I know he got a contract offer from Jerry Jones that he framed and put in his office.”
It’s normal for anyone to wonder “what if” especially when they had the high school accolades that James did. Top athletes always have the confidence that they could do anything and in James case he probably could.
His trainer being a Cowboys fan certainly helped as that fan base is one of the few that can rival the Lakers as far as reach, loyalty, and intensity.
Thankfully for the Lakers, James chose basketball and could be the player to bring the franchise out of its championship drought. Unfortunately for Cowboys fans everywhere, they’ll only be able to dream of James doing the same for their team.