Standing at 6-foot-9, 250 pounds with incredible downhill speed, LeBron James is undoubtedly one of the best athletes the world has ever seen. The Akron, Ohio native chose to take his talents to the hardwood and has already etched his name among basketball’s best.
However, James apparently gave some thought to a departure from the NBA in 2011. The basketball star played football at a high level in high school and entertained trying out for a few NFL teams.
According to Bill Oram of The Athletic, James received two invitations to workout for organizations in the summer of 2011. Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys offered him a chance to play. The Seattle Seahawks and Pete Carroll shipped him a custom jersey, as well as an opportunity to try out.
James even went as far as to change his workout regime and he began to run routes again. He maintains that he would’ve made either team and could’ve drastically altered the course of his athletic career.
“I would have made the team,” James told The Athletic. “I would have tried out, but I would have made the team. 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.”
New at @TheAthletic this morning: Untold stories of LeBron’s dominant high school football career… and just how close he was to auditioning for a spot in the NFL once he was cemented as an NBA icon. From @chriskamrani and me. https://t.co/HuGGq4U6WH
— Bill Oram (@billoram) February 15, 2021
Of course, James chose to stick with basketball, and for good reason. He went on to win back-to-back MVP awards in 2012 and 2013, in addition to two NBA championships. Since then James has collected two more rings and a slew of individual accolades, putting himself amongst an elite few in the best basketball player of all time discussion.
In 2020, as James mounts another MVP campaign, it’s clearer than ever that he made the right choice. At 36-years-old, he still moves like a 20-something looks prepared to chase another title with the Los Angeles Lakers.
We’ll never know if LeBron James could’ve been successful in the NFL, but with his absurd athleticism and diligent work ethic, it’s possible he could’ve risen to the top of the sport in no time.