Uninterrupted: “Was football ever a thought for you?”
LeBron James: “To be honest, it actually was. I had no idea how long the lockout was going to be, and myself and my trainer started to actually train to be a football player when it came to October and November. We started to clock our times with the 40’s, we started to add a little more to our bench presses and things of that nature, and adding more sled to our agenda with our workouts… The thoughts came to my mind. Never having the ability to finish my high school career and my senior year -- I have dreams all the time about playing football.” (Full Segment Above)
Days after NBA head coach Doc Rivers said he thought LeBron James could have been the 'greatest football player ever’ during a segment discussing LeBron’s unique athleticism, LeBron himself said during an interview with The Uninterrupted that he seriously considered making a leap to the NFL during the NBA lockout of 2011.
The 2011 lockout was a brutal squabble between players and owners that ended with the regular season cancelling all games until Christmas, and the NBA Players Association completely rebuilding itself. Many mid-to-lower level players ended up signing with teams overseas.
With the legitimate concern that the entire season was going to be cancelled, LeBron says him and his trainer were already working on a training regimen to get him ready for a potential switch to football, that included more bench press and sled workouts, as well as 40-yard dash sprints.
Maverick Carter, who was also in the interview, said that Jerry Jones even offered LeBron a contract to play for the Cowboys, which he said is still framed in LeBron’s office to this day.
LeBron was emerging as a star wide receiver as a sophomore at St Vincent-St. Mary high school in Ohio in 1999, catching 42 passes for 752 yards, and 11 touchdowns his first year starting on varsity, and was being heavily recruiting by NCAA football powerhouse the likes of Ohio State, Notre Dame, Florida, Florida State, and USC.
LeBron eventually stuck with basketball full-time and wouldn’t play football as a junior or senior.
LeBron’s lost football career is still a topic that is brought up often. One video that continues to swirl around social media is LeBron playing in a flag football game during the 2011 NBA lockout billed as ‘Team LeBron vs. Team Durant.’ Kevin Durant challenged LeBron to a flag football game in Akron with both players bringing a roster full of serious players.
LeBron dominated the game and looked absolutely unstoppable despite the game boasting lineups of legitimate athletes.