It’s well documented that Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was quite the dual-threat athlete in high school. In addition to being a generational basketball talent, the 6-foot-8 forward was also a force on the football field.
James eventually decided to focus on basketball as he made the leap straight from high school to become the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. However, he didn’t fully give up on his dream as a football player.
In fact, the four-time MVP actually had multiple offers to join NFL teams about a decade ago.
During ESPN’s Monday Night Football alternate broadcast, James confirmed to Peyton and Eli Manning that both the Dallas Cowboys and the Seattle Seahawks offered him him contracts during the NBA’s lockout in 2011. He revealed that he had conversations with both Jerry Jones and Pete Carroll about potentially coming aboard and even had jerseys from both teams sent to him.
“Jerry Jones offered me a contract and actually Pete Carroll in Seattle did as well during out lockout time. Definitely got my blood flowing again, got my mind racing again about the game of football,” James told the Manning brothers on ESPN’s broadcast Monday. “We was able to get a deal done in the NBA and I was back on the court in not time, but I definitely thought about it.
“I still got the jersey too, that Jerry [Jones] and Pete Carroll sent me from 2011.”
"I still got the jersey too, that Jerry [Jones] and Pete Carroll sent me from 2011."
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 28, 2021
LeBron has previously revealed that he had tryout offers from the Seahawks and the Cowboys, but hadn’t confirmed exactly how far those conversations had gotten. Clearly, he had a real opportunity to play if he wanted to take it.
James definitely made the right call as he went on to win four NBA championships after the 2011 season, with the latest coming in 2020 with the Lakers. At 36 years old, he’s still among the best players in the league and hasn’t showed many signs of slowing down soon.
Nevertheless, it’s hard not to wonder what James would’ve been like in the NFL. At 6-foot-8, 250 pounds, he would’ve been a physical presence with a unique skillset that definitely could’ve been put to use in the right system.
Fans will never know what could’ve been with LeBron’s football career, but will just be thankful to have witnessed him do what he does best on the hardwood.