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King James Could've Been Football Star

Updated: Jan 16, 2023

Had things worked out a little differently, it's entirely possible that King James might have worn his crown on the gridiron as opposed to the hardwood. The greatest NBA player of his generation, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers was also a high school football star growing up in Akron, Ohio.

"I still love football to this day," James told the Manning brothers during their Monday Night Football broadcast. "The Friday night lights was something I enjoyed every Friday."

A 6-foot-8, 232-pound wide receiver at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, James played two seasons on the school's football team. He caught 103 passes for 2,065 yards and 23 touchdowns. He was named All-Ohio at wide receiver both seasons.

He had interest shown from several top college football schools but James stuck with his plan to go directly into pro basketball from high school. The Cleveland Cavaliers made James the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.

"I think if I would’ve had a better quarterback in high school I might have continued to play football," James said. "But I took way too many hits that led me to the basketball court."

During the 2011 NBA lockout, James, 26 at the time, was already established as the NBA's most dominant performer. However, that didn't stop the Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks from offering him contracts to play in the NFL during the NBA work stoppage.

"I would have made the team," James told "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."

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