LeBron James has established himself as one of the greatest players to play the game in NBA history. James has put forth an illustrious career that still has plenty of chapters to be added to his resume and legacy. However, before all that, James also showed much promise on the football field before ultimately sticking to playing basketball. It’s something that LA Clippers head coach Doc Rivers strongly believes that James could have worked his way into being held firmly as the greatest player in NFL history.
LeBron James’ high school football career
During his high school days, James was more than a one-sport athlete as he also played football.
He had quickly become a promising talent on the basketball court, but he was also a high-impact wide receiver on the gridiron. In his two seasons, he had recorded 103 receptions for 2,065 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns. That saw him earn First-Team All-State in Ohio as a sophomore and was offered a scholarship to play at Norte Dame.
In his junior year, he posted 57 catches for 1,160 yards and 16 touchdowns while helping his school reach a 10-4 record and reaching the state semifinal and receiving All-State honors. James had suffered a broken wrist
in an AAU game in the summer before his senior year that impacted his decision to stick to just basketball for his final year of high school.
The discussion around what could have been if he stuck to football is a conversation that continues to float around. It’s one that Doc Rivers pumped fuel into yet again with extremely high praise toward James.
Doc Rivers believes LeBron James would have been GOAT NFL player
Although James played football briefly in high school, it was enough to demonstrate that he could have been a force to reckon with in that sport.
Given his athletic ability that he has further honed throughout his career, it only leads to the belief that James could have been a star on the football field. During a recent interview on his son Austin Rivers’ Interrupted show titled Go Off, he voiced that he believes James could have been the greatest NFL player ever.
“I don’t think there has been an athlete in our league like LeBron. I really believe if LeBron James had to play football, he may have been the greatest football player ever.”
That is undoubtedly a bold statement concerning James’ ability on the football field. He would have had his fair share of challenges along the way in terms of adjusting to the competition level and honing his craft, but he has all the physical tools to be a dominating wide receiver in the NFL.
He likely would have to trim down a little from 250 pounds, but at his size standing 6-foot-9 and speed would have been incredibly imposing to defenders. That would especially be the case during the prime of his career as he could have put forth a promising career at the very least.
How would have LeBron James played?
That begs the question about what could have been for James if he pursued a football career instead.
He had shown some promising signs at the high school level and could have excelled at the collegiate level. He would have likely had his pick of the litter with scholarship opportunities, with his frontrunner likely being Ohio State.
There is no telling how his career would have panned out, but he had all the physical tools to be a potential star in the league. Had he gone that route, the opportunities would have been there to carve out an impressive football career.