Believe it or not, LeBron James was once an all-state football player in high school. One could only imagine what would’ve transpired if James ultimately decided to go play in the NFL instead of skipping college ball to go join the Cavs. The news of James’ football accolades was no secret before, but with all of the hype surrounding Michael Jordan’s Minor League career with the Birmingham Barons (The Last Dance footage), this story’s timing seems too good to be true.
When the NBA was in lockout talks back in 2011, James floated around the idea of giving football another shot. Recruited by Ohio State when he played for St. Vincent/St. Mary’s, LeBron knew that he could use old connections to make something happen at the pro level.
“I had no idea how long the lockout was going to be, and myself and my trainer … we really started to actually train to be a football player,” James said on “Uninterrupted” Monday night. “We started to clock our time in the 40, we started to add a little bit more to our bench presses and things of that nature.”
James, a long time Dallas Cowboys fan, never actually went through with the career change, but the move was actually closer than many could ever believe. According to Maverick Carter, James’ friend and business partner, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones actually offered James a contract.
“Never having the ability to finish my high school career of playing like my senior year, I have dreams all the time about playing football,” James said. ” 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 or seeing the fans. As soon as I am about to run onto the field, something else happens in my dream. Something always happens like that.”
It’s hard to say whether LeBron would have been a success in football, but he definitely is built for a game that is played by ultimate giants. During his time with the Miami Heat, LeBron was arguably the biggest he’s been in his career, standing 6’9” and weighing in at 250+ pounds, which is on the bigger scale of the best tight ends in the league.
In his junior season of high school, James had 57 receptions for 1,160 yards and 16 touchdowns, but it would ultimately be his last year playing football. A wrist injury in AAU basketball that summer forced James to sit out playing football his senior year, as he was just one final year away from entering the NBA.
Everyone knows that LeBron made the right choice to stick with basketball, but letting imaginations run wild and picturing him on a team with Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, and Jason Witten is certainly something you only see in dreams.