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LeBron James trained for football during NBA lockout, got Cowboys contract offer

Michael Jordan greenlit “The Last Dance” the same day LeBron James and the Cavaliers held their championship parade.

Coincidence? Maybe.

Motivation for Jordan to boost his legacy? If so, it worked. The documentary was a hagiography of Jordan. Among the topics covered: Jordan’s relatively impressive foray into professional baseball. LeBron never did anything like that.

But LeBron – who might want the spotlight back after weeks of Jordan dominating the discussion – apparently considered playing football during the 2011 NBA lockout.

LeBron, via Uninterrupted:

I had no idea how long the lockout was going to be, and myself and my trainer, Mike Mancias, we really started to actually train to be a football player when it came to 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 sled into our agenda with our workouts. And Mike kept talking about, “It’d be great to go down to Irving, Texas. It’d be great to go to Irving, Texas.” You know, Mike is – he’s from Texas. We’re both Cowboys fans. He’s like, “It’d be great to go down there to Dallas and suit it up for the Cowboys, how great that’d be.” The thoughts came into my mind. The thoughts came into my mind. But never having the ability to finish my high school career of playing my senior year, I have dreams all the time about playing football.

Maverick Carter:

I know he got a contract from Jerry Jones that he framed and put in his office.

It’s unclear how seriously LeBron – or the Cowboys – took this.

Unlike Jordan – who had already won three titles and established himself as the great player ever by the time he retired to play baseball – LeBron had yet to win a championship in 2011. It would have been risky for LeBron to jeopardize his basketball legacy to play a more-dangerous sport in football.

Perhaps, LeBron mixed in football-style training just to break up the monotony of an extended offseason.

I’d love to know his 40-yard dash time. Jordan, according to North Carolina coach Roy Williams, ran a sub-4.4 40 in college. LeBron is bigger and stronger than Jordan, so the standard wouldn’t be the same. But it’d still be fun to compare.

The idea of LeBron playing in the NFL has intrigued many – both believers and doubters. He starred at wide receiver at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School and possesses world-class athleticism. Of course, it’s a big step up from prep football to the NFL.

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll jokingly tried to recruit LeBron during the lockout. I have a hunch Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who loves attention, was more serious – at least if LeBron reciprocated. It’s tough to imagine Jones rejecting sincere interest from LeBron on joining the team.