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LeBron Considered Playing Football During the Last NBA Lockout

Jerry Jones even offered him a contract.

In a new interview, LeBron James revealed that he nearly switched sports in 2011, when a lockout delayed the start of the NBA season.

“I had no idea how long the lockout was gonna be, and myself and my trainer Mike Mancias, we really started to starting to actually train to be a football player,” James said in an interview posted to his YouTube channel.

“When it came to like October and November, we started to run, 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. We started to add more sled into our to our agenda…You know Mike, he’s from Texas, we’re both Cowboys fans. He’s like ‘It’d be great to go down now down to Dallas and suit up for the Cowboys.'”

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, a man who craves the spotlight, was into the idea, which could have been the sports story of the decade. Jones went so far to offer LeBron a contract that still hangs, unsigned, in LeBron’s office.

Playing in the NFL would’ve fulfilled a lifelong dream for James, an all-state wide receiver as a high school sophomore. A wrist injury kept him off the gridiron during his senior year, and his football career was effectively ended when he was drafted by the Cavs first overall that year.

Despite his multiple MVP awards and NBA championships, James still fixates on the football career that might have been.

“I have dreams all the time about playing football and it’s like, it’s crazy because I actually never run on the field in my dreams. It always gets to the point where I’ll be there in the locker room or getting dressed or talking about it or seeing the fans and as soon as I’m about to run on the field something else happens in my dream.”

But alas, the NBA lockout ended after 161 days and LeBron returned to the league and won his first NBA championship. Meanwhile, the Cowboys went 8-8.