LeBron James told the Athletic that during the 2011 NBA lockout he was approached by two NFL teams about trying out for them. One was the Seattle Seahawks. 2011 would have been one year before Russell Wilson was drafted to be the franchise quarterback for Seattle. It also was before Seattle started getting really good. So things have changed for both the Seahawks and James since then.
But what if LeBron James had decided to give the NFL a try for one year? In high school, James was a great basketball player, of course, but his ability on the football field did not go unnoticed by Division 1 football programs either.
James would have likely transitioned to tight end as an NFL player. While trying to block would have been a challenge for him, everything else he might have been capable of would have put fear into opposing defenses. He would have been a nightmare matchup.
James is 6’9″ and 250 pounds but with incredible speed and overall athleticism. He has giant hands and should have been able to catch footballs with ease. A deep fade to James? Who could have defended that? A red zone target? Again, nearly indefensible.
LeBron James and the issues he might have had in football
But let’s not overlook the fact that while James might have been – and still is – a physical freak, a lack of practice on the fundamentals of football especially at a professional level, would have hampered him as it would anyone else. It is fun to speculate on what someone like LeBron James could have been had he played football but he didn’t. He chose basketball and that was a smart move.
James might have gotten a few catches with the Seahawks in 2011, maybe even a touchdown or two if used correctly. But he wouldn’t have been great because he would have been playing against good players who have had good coaching a long time in football.