LeBron James: What If?

Dimitri KontopidisCorrespondent IJuly 14, 2008

We all know that the track record for basketball players in the NFL has been very impressive, as both Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates have proven that even mediocre ballers can become All-Pro tight-ends.

Which raises the question: with today's athletes being so versatile, could some of the professional athletes today actually be better suited for a sport that they aren't playing?

Take LeBron James for example.

Everyone knows that the King is dominant on the court. His combination of physical play and extreme athleticism is unmatched in today's NBA, but what if he had decided to play professional football instead?

In high school, James was a First-Team All-State Wide Receiver by his sophomore year, and in his junior year he had over 1,000 yards to go along with 52 catches and 15 touchdowns.

James was a highly touted recruit who loved the game of football, but decided to forgo his senior year in fear of an NBA-jeopardizing injury.

Had LeBron James decided to play his senior year and go on to play college football, today we might be looking at a completely different NFL.

At 6'8" and at 250 lbs with a timed 4.40 40-yard dash, I can't think of anyone in the NFL that could come close to covering the Ohio native.

Even the tallest corners and safeties would simply be too small, and linebackers would get torched by a light jog.

He has the size to play tight-end, the speed to play receiver, and the physicality to knock anyone over who might stop him.

Of course, it's hard to say that LeBron made the wrong decision as his NBA career has been transcendent thus far, but for what it's worth next time you see Antonio Gates barrel over some mismatched safety for a 50-yard touchdown, ask yourself if the bigger and faster LeBron James couldn't do the same.

And then ask yourself: who's going to stop him when he catches the ball again?