NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — LeBron James is a four-time NBA MVP and the undisputed best basketball player on the planet.
The Heat forward also has his team two wins away from its third consecutive NBA Finals appearance.
But before becoming the face of the basketball world, the nine-time NBA All-Star was a pretty solid football player. The Akron, Ohio, native was an All-State wide receiver in high school, and many believe that he could have excelled in the NFL.
Count Joe Theismann among that contingent.
The ex-NFL quarterback is of the opinion that James could be a successful QB on the professional level.
“I would love to work him out and also serve as his agent,” Theismann told Fox Sports Florida on Saturday. “I’ll go wherever he wants this summer. He could play another four years in the NBA before seriously trying the NFL. There are not a lot of 38- or 39-year-old basketball players, but there are 38- and 39-year-old quarterbacks, so there’s always time for him.”
The 1983 NFL MVP admitted to the NFL Network that his offer to be James’ agent was a “tongue-in-cheek” remark, but his sentiment about the 28-year-old’s potential to be a National Football League player was completely sincere.
“Who wouldn’t want to coach LeBron James?” he told the NFL Network on Tuesday. “He’s the most physical specimen we have in professional sports. He could do, I think, anything he wanted.”
Theismann said that James would have to develop his footwork to be an effective signal-caller, and acknowledged that it might be difficult for the NBA star to get a solid grip on the pigskin with his huge hands.
But when it comes to having the right mindset to be under center, Theismann can’t imagine that James would get fazed.
“He’s as mentally tough a guy as you’re going to find, which I think is the No. 1 prerequisite to play the position,” Theismann told the NFL Network.
Following Miami’s Game 1 victory over the Pacers in the Eastern Conference finals, King James told reporters that had he pursued football, he would have been a successful QB.
“I have the ability,” James said. “I can see and read plays. I study a lot, so I know defenses and things of that nature. So I would have been pretty good if I had decided to go for it.”
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