Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is arguably one of the greatest players in the history of basketball. But when two NFL opportunities were presented to him during the 2011 NBA lockout, James said he “seriously considered” it.
During a recent interview with The Athletic, James said that he believed he was good enough to play in the NFL, and he had invitations from the Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks to try out for each team.
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If he ended up playing football, James knows exactly what would have happened.
“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, but I would have made the team.
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“I just know what I’m capable of doing on the football field. Especially at that age.”
James was a star wide receiver at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio. He supposedly received recruitment letters from Florida State, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Florida, and South Carolina, among others.
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Current Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer was the wide receivers coach at Notre Dame back then, and James mentioned that he tried recruiting him to be a part of the Fighting Irish.
“Urban Meyer recruited me,” James added. “I think at the time he was the wide receiver coach at Notre Dame. So yeah, I was getting recruited by all the big-time schools.”
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James, who was 26 at the time, was starring on the Miami Heat. The Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals, and the start of the next season was postponed into December due to the lockout, which was a process that lasted a total of 161 days.
James led the Heat to NBA championships in 2012 and 2013.