LeBron James made a choice in high school to give up football.
But during the 2011 NBA lockout, he reevaluated things.
"I had no idea how long the lockout was going to be and myself and my trainer, Mike Mancias, we really started to actually train to be a football player when it came to like October and November," James said in an interview for Uninterrupted with Maverick Carter and Paul Rivera. "We started to clock our times with the 40s, we started to add a little bit more in our bench presses and things of that nature."
Carter, James' business partner, added that James was offered a contract from Dallas Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones.
"He framed [it] and put in his office," Carter said.
James, a three-time NBA champion and a four-time MVP, was a football star at St. Vincent–St. Mary High School. Urban Meyer, who was the wide receivers coach at Notre Dame at the time, offered James a scholarship as a sophomore. He was the No. 1 football prospect in the state of Ohio his junior year, after catching 60 passes for 1,200 yards and 16 touchdowns as a wide receiver.
But he gave up football after that season to focus on basketball. James' unconscious mind apparently grappled with that decision.
"Never having the ability to finish my high school career of playing my senior year, I had dreams all the time about playing football," James said. "And 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'm about to run on the field, something else happens in my dream."
James recently posted to Instagram an old newspaper clipping about his high school football career, adding that his friends made it clear that they wouldn't let him near a football field again.
"They said if I tried to step on a football field my senior year they would jump(kick my a**) me every day of practice until I had enough!" James wrote. "Think I made a smart decision! Ha! Anyways you LB/CB/S can thank my homies I stayed over in the hoops lane or would have been plenty of highlights “Moss’d” on y’all."
Clippers coach Doc Rivers recently told the "Go Off with Austin Rivers" podcast that James is a one-of-a-kind athlete.
And not just in basketball.
“I really believe if LeBron James had to play football, he may have been the greatest football player ever," Rivers said.