Several years ago, LeBron James even filmed a commercial in which he "shocked the world" by ditching the NBA and signing with his hometown squad, the Cleveland Browns.
As it turns out, that commercial my not be as far-fetched as it seems.
James follows football very closely. He loves to express his affinity for his favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys, on Twitter and in person.
During a recent Twitter Q&A, James was asked whether he could see himself playing pro football. His answer may surprise you:
— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 19, 2013
In high school, James convinced his mom to let him hit the gridiron, even though he was risking his bright basketball future with each game. The 6-foot-8 James was a star receiver for St. Vincent-St. Mary's, and he received offers to play football at nearly all of the nation's top programs.
Even though he hasn't put on pads since his high school days, he's said he misses football every day and has received high praise from some of the game's best players.
"That dude is just that talented," Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant told ESPNDallas.com. "I think it would take him probably about a good two weeks to get very acquainted with football, knowing what he's supposed to do. I think that's all he'd need with his physical ability. I've seen a little bit of his highlights from high school. He's got the hands, he can run the routes, he's fast enough. He could play in this league if he put it all together."
A few months ago Grantland's Bill Barnwell explored the idea of James playing football, and he wrote that while many have pegged James as a tight end, he could also line up as a defensive lineman. Or, with his considerable skill-set, James could be a hybrid player who has different roles depending on the down and situation.
When James would find time to play in a pro football game is perhaps the most difficult part of this equation, as the Miami Heat and any future team would likely not want the four-time MVP to risk his health by suiting up for an NFL squad. But perhaps a future lockout or free-agency period might prompt James to consider shelving his sneakers and lacing up some cleats.
After all, he wouldn't be the first NBA superstar to leave basketball to try out another sport.