Michael Jordan retired at the peak of his career in 1993 and shocked the NBA by trying to become a professional baseball player. LeBron James has never taken a break from basketball, but there might have been a scenario in which the superstar attempted to play another sport.

James recently admitted that he considered trying to join the NFL during the 2011 NBA lockout.

“I had no idea how long the lockout was gonna be,” James said on the Uninterrupted’s “WRTS: After Party.” “Myself and my trainer, Mike Mancias, we really started to actually train to be a football player when it came to October and November. We started to clock our times with the 40. We started to add a little bit more in our bench presses and things of that nature. We started to add a little bit more sled into our agenda with our workouts.”

The start of the 2011-2012 NBA season was delayed by two months because of the lockout. A tentative collective bargaining agreement wasn’t in place in late November, a month after the NBA season usually begins. The first games were played on Christmas Day.

James was entering his second season with the Miami Heat. He still hadn’t won a championship, unlike Jordan, who retired on the heels of a three-peat.

But with no basketball, James wondered how he might fare in the NFL. He was an all-state receiver in his sophomore and junior years of high school, scoring 27 touchdowns during his brief career.

“The thoughts came into my mind,” James said Monday. “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.”

It’s realistic to think that James could have jumped straight to the NFL and found success. Antonio Gates became an eight-time Pro Bowl tight end after playing college basketball at Kent State.

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers recently said he believes James could have been the greatest football player of all time.

Maverick Carter, James’ business partner, said on “WRTS: After Party” that the Los Angeles Lakers star has a contract from Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones framed in his office. It doesn’t sound like James came close to signing an offer with the Cowboys, though anything might have been possible if the lockout extended even longer.

James won his first of two straight titles with the Miami Heat less than a year after he started training for a potential jump to the NFL.

LeBron James
LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers stands for the national anthem prior to the game against the Washington Wizards at Staples Center in Los Angeles, March 26, 2019. Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images