LeBron thinks he could star in NFL

Updated: November 18, 2009, 11:29 AM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- LeBron James watched the Cleveland Browns get shut out by Baltimore on Monday night and came to one simple conclusion: He could help.

"If I put all my time and commitment into it, if I dedicated myself to the game of football, I could be really good," the Cavaliers superstar said before facing the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night. "No matter what team I was on."

The Browns have one of the NFL's most anemic offenses, a key problem during their 1-8 start. The NBA's reigning MVP certainly couldn't make things any worse.

James was an All-Ohio wide receiver at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School before quitting football after his junior year to focus on basketball. But he still follows the game closely and believes he could have been a hybrid tight end/receiver in the mold of San Diego's Antonio Gates or Atlanta's Tony Gonzalez.

Gates, who played basketball in college and not football, is listed at 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds. James is listed at 6-8 and 250 pounds.

"They're not always lined up next to the tackle," James said. "Sometimes they go against strong safeties and linebackers. It's tough to match up with those guys because they're so athletic."

James filmed a commercial last year for an insurance company that depicted him in a No. 23 Browns jersey with "LeBron" stitched across the back.

He has no serious plans of returning to football, but said playing the two sports takes entirely different types of stamina.

"I'd be in football shape during football season, then I'd go to basketball and feel like I was out of shape," he said. "It's totally different. And another thing you have to get used to is getting hit again."

Since James never went to college, it was mentioned he still may have eligibility remaining if he wanted to try playing college football. There is just the issue of the $90 million shoe contract James signed with Nike before ever playing a game in the NBA.

"What if I gave it all back?" he joked.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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