*It’s natural to stare in wonder at our greatest athletes and wonder how they’d do in other sports, particularly after a generation raised on the astonishing athletic exploits of Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders – Jackson especially. It’s been over two decades since that devastating hip injury destroyed Jackson’s career, but we forget just how captivating Bo was, that astonishing blend of speed and power, a once-in-a-lifetime marketing wonder. It’s a shame that more people remember him now from that Tecmo game.
Could LeBron be the next Bo? Certainly, he possesses the talent. LeBron was, by all accounts, a spectacular football player in high school; the skills he does have – that remarkable coordination, speed, strength, size, quickness, and durability – would seem to translate perfectly for tall possession receiver in the NFL or (more likely) a high-profile tight end. It’s not all that hard to envision LeBron running the skinny post in a football game, not when you see him explode down the court on a fast break.
It’s not without precedent, either. Most people are familiar with the stories of Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham, two college basketball players with little-to-no football experience who ascended to become two of the best tight ends in their sport. At best, Graham and Gates were fringe pro basketball prospects – and James might be the most singularly talented basketball player ever.
Of course, it wouldn’t be easy. LeBron hasn’t run a route or taken a full-on football hit since high school. He would have to rebuild his body for the day-to-day pounding a football player takes (like Michael Jordan had to mold his physique for baseball) and adapt his natural athletic skills to an entirely different sport. Yet…if there’s anyone that could do it, it would be LeBron. And what a story that would be, in this era, with this sort of media coverage…it would dwarf the cultural significance Jackson had.
If it does happen, though, we should all hope that he goes to a team better than the Seahawks. That’s just not fit for a King.