LeBron James nearly took his talents to Dallas or Seattle.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar previously has acknowledged his opportunities to try out for NFL teams during the league’s 2011 lockout, but James says that he believes he was good enough to play professional football had he accepted the invitations he received that year from the Dallas Cowboys and the Seattle Seahawks.
“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.”
The story detailed James’ two years as a wide receiver at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio. The four-time NBA MVP claimed he was recruited by Urban Meyer – who was Notre Dame’s receivers coach from 1996-2000 and Bowling Green’s head coach in 2001-02 – among other football programs.
After James, who was 26 years old at the time, and the Miami Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals, the start of the next season was postponed by a lockout that lasted into December, a total of 161 days.
James told The Athletic that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones invited him to try out for America’s Team, while Seahawks coach Pete Carroll also sent him an invitation along with a custom jersey.
The 6-foot-9, 250-pound forward said he “seriously considered” Dallas’ offer, but he was talked out of it by his friends and advisors. “I always think about it,” James said.
LeBron and the Heat went on to win the next two NBA titles in 2012 and 2013. He also earned championship rings with Cleveland in 2016 and with the Lakers last year.