LeBron James was once an all-state football player in high school, and one can't help but wonder what would have happened if one of the greatest basketball players to ever walk the earth eventually suited up and played another sport if he ever got tired of dominating the NBA. LeBron never had that chapter in his storied career, unlike Michael Jordan did in the year he spent with Minor League Baseball's Birmingham Barons -- but he was close.
When the NBA was in the midst of a lockout in 2011, James toyed with the idea of giving football a shot. Being recruited by Ohio State when he played for St. Vincent/St. Mary's certainly gave James the urge to consider a career change (at least for a bit).
"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 noted Dallas Cowboys fan, never actually went through with the career change and decided to stick with basketball. There is an interesting twist to the story, as James' longtime friend and business partner Maverick Carter admitted 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."
Whether LeBron would have been a success in football is another story, but he has the build for the game at 6-9, 250 pounds. Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers even said Jamesif he would have stuck with the sport.
James had 57 receptions for 1,160 yards and 16 touchdowns in his junior season as a wide receiver, 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 a year away from the NBA.
Football may have been a missed opportunity for LeBron, but he turned out alright with a basketball career. Winning three NBA titles, becoming the league's third all-time leading scorer, and becoming a global icon proved James made the right choice.