Former NFL Star Believes He Could Turn LeBron James into an NFL Wide Receiver in One Year

Published 03/10/2021, 5:30 PM EST
BEIJING, CHINA – SEPTEMBER 04: NBA star LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers meets fans at a Nike store on September 4, 2017 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images)


Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is one of the most athletic players in the league. Despite being 36 years old, his athleticism is far beyond that of his younger associates. This athleticism has often had fans thinking if LeBron could play football professionally.

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Former NFL star Greg Olsen agrees and believes that he can turn LeBron into a top-notch NFL player. Olsen said, “If I could coach LeBron James for 1 year, I could make him an All-Pro wide receiver,” Olsen said on analyst Colin Cowherd’s podcast. “There’s no question in my mind.”

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He continued, “There’s a handful of those guys that could make that transition just because they’re so unique. … I do think (LeBron) can play NFL wide receiver.

“For how long? I think he’d be stupid to stop playing basketball and come play football. But yes, I do think he could in the short term.”

Would LeBron James dominate in the NFL as he has in the NBA?

Before LeBron committed to basketball, he was a top high school prospect in football as well. In fact, he was ranked #1 in the state of Ohio. Back in July 2020, LeBron shared these details and also shared a few brilliant stats he had recorded back in high school.

The average NFL wide receiver is 6’1″, in comparison to LeBron who is 6’8. That is a massive height advantage for him. A few years ago, LeBron was reportedly timed at 4.4 seconds in a 40-yard dash. That is the average speed of an NFL wide receiver.

So to be as fast as most wide receivers while being 7-8 inches taller than them would definitely make LeBron a top WR.

During the 2011 NBA lockout, LeBron was actually considering a move to the NFL as well. “I would have tried out, but I would have made the team,” he said back in February. “I just know what I’m capable of doing on the football field. Especially at that age.”

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Jan 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts during the first quarter of a game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on January 10, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

He isn’t the only one who believes he could have made it in the NFL. 76ers coach Doc Rivers believes LeBron would have become the best the NFL has seen. “I really believe if LeBron James had to play football, he may have been the greatest football player ever,” Rivers said last year.

Add this to the list of sports’ biggest what-ifs.

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Aaron Mathew

1642 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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