LeBron James nearly took his talents to the NFL, at least that’s what the four-time NBA champion is claiming today.
In a recent interview with The Athletic, the NBA superstar said he considered a career move during the 2011 NBA lockout when he was approached by two NFL teams about trying out for them.
According to James, the Seattle Seahawks and the Dallas Cowboys sent him invitations to try out. Pete Carroll reportedly went as far as to ship James a No. 1 jersey with an offer to work out.
"I would have made the team," James told The Athletic. "One thing about it, I don't mind working for something, so if I would have had to try out for the Cowboys or the Seahawks, or if I'd have stayed home and went back home to Cleveland, I'd have tried [out], but I would have made the team. I just know what I'm capable of doing on the football field. Especially at that age."
While LeBron was a basketball star at St. Vincent-St Mary High School in Akron, Ohio, he was also a standout wide receiver on the football field. It’s there where James was heavily recruited by some of college’s best, including legendary coach Urban Meyer who urged him to play at Notre Dame.
In his last season on the football team, his junior year, James had 61 catches for 1,245 yards and 16 touchdowns while being named first-team All-Ohio.
The thought of James being one of the NFL’s elite wide receivers is certainly an intriguing prospect. As a rookie, LeBron towered his opponents with his 6-foot-9, 250-pound stature, similar to that of freak of nature DK Metcalf. Just imagine Russell Wilson throwing deep balls down field to LeBron.
While the NBA’s all-time great considered a leap from the basketball court to the gridiron, ultimately everything worked out for him in the end.
Following the 2011 season where the Miami Heat fell to the Dallas Mavericks in six games in the NBA Finals, LeBron went on to win four championships: two in Miami, one in Cleveland, and one last season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
At 36, LeBron hasn’t ruled out the idea of one day making a return to the football field… in a different capacity, that is.
"Before I had aspirations of owning an NBA team, I always talked about how cool it would be to be a high school football coach," James said. "Be it a head coach or an offensive coordinator. Some Andy Reid-type sh** where I'm making crazy plays. I just love the sport. I watch it all the time. It's just in me. It's how I grew up."