Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers said recently that if LeBron James had played football he would have been better than Tom Brady, better than Jerry Rice, better than Jim Brown, Tony Gonzalez, Barry Sanders, Deion Sanders or Dick Butkus. All of them. Any of them.
“I really believe if LeBron James had to play football he may have been the greatest football player ever at whatever position,” Rivers said on his son Austin Rivers’ podcast. “Can you imagine LeBron James with a helmet on? That’s dangerous.”
James, in fact, said he began training for football during the 2011 NBA lockout, perhaps to become another basketball player turned tight end.
“I had no idea how long the lockout was going to be,” James said on WRTS: After Party, via TheSpun.com. “Myself and my trainer, Mike Mancias, we really started to actually train to be a football player when it came to October or November. We started to clock our time in the 40. We started to add a little bit more in our bench presses. We started to add a little bit more sled in our workouts.”
Mancias kept telling James “how great it would be” to play for the Cowboys, James’ favorite team.
“The thoughts came into my mind,” James said. “The thoughts came into my mind. But never having the ability to finish my high school career of playing like my senior year, I have dreams all the time about playing football. 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 am about to run onto the field, something else happens in my dream. Something always happens like that.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones sent James a contract, which James now has framed in his office.