New York Giants wide receiver Parris Campbell revealed that current Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James practiced with his high school football team during the 2011 NBA lockout.
James, who was with the Miami Heat at the time, went back to practice with his high school football team where Campbell was playing at the time.
“That was insane!” Campbell told the New York Post’s Steve Serby. “’Cause we were already on the field. A couple of guys knew that he was coming through, so like I knew ’cause I was one of the captains. So we’re on the field just warming up, whatever, and then we just see this big old dude come out of the locker room, shoulder pads on, carrying a helmet, and everybody’s looking there like, ‘Who’s this, who’s this?’ And he walks on the field, man, and he was in like 7-on-7 drills, like team drills, running routes, and it was insane. Like he was plucking the ball out of the air, running routes. He could play football for a living if he wanted to, 100 percent. It was cool for us to see. This was one of the best NBA players, he’s coming to practice with his high school football team. That’s unheard of.”
James and Campbell have a strong relationship, as James recently shouted Campbell out on his Instagram story.
The wide receiver is entering his first season with the Giants after playing the last four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. Campbell was a second-round pick (No. 59 overall) by Indianapolis in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Campbell clearly thinks that James would be able to compete at the NFL level, something that the Lakers star has said he believes he would have been able to do during the 2011 lockout.
James was offered to try out for both the Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks, and he believes that he would have made either team had he done so.
NFL players seem a bit more divided on the idea of James playing in the league.
Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce believes that the four-time NBA champion’s athleticism would translate well to the NFL and allow him to succeed at that level.
While it’s a debate that will never be settled since James is highly unlikely to pursue a football career anytime soon, it is fun to wonder what could have been.
Heat fans are certainly glad that James didn’t go to the NFL, as he helped bring the franchise two championships during his four-season stint in Miami.
While the 2011 lockout was a tough time for the NBA, it did create some pretty amazing stories, such as Campbell’s experience practicing alongside James.