If Lebron Chose A Different Sport, How Would He Fare?

Jeremy KaufmanSenior Analyst IAugust 29, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - MAY 30:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after a play against the Orlando Magic in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2009 Playoffs at Amway Arena on May 30, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Regardless of how you feel about his hype and his antics, there is little debate that Lebron James is among the most physically gifted athletes in history. At 6’8" and 260 pounds, Lebron is a gargantuan young man who possesses the speed and agility of a point guard in the body of a power forward.

However, as fascinating as Lebron’s versatility on the basketball court may be, I find it even more intriguing just how reasonably Lebron’s natural talents could potentially translate to other pro sports. With that said, I will now take the time to assess exactly what Lebron’s potential would be in several other team sports.



While Lebron has never competed in baseball at a serious level, I do see him having some potential in the game as a right fielder. With his height and leaping ability, Lebron could potentially become the greatest home run-robbing threat in the history of the game.

Furthermore, his natural size and hand-eye coordination would allow him to become a serious home run hitter, although a great deal of practice would inevitably be necessary before he could ever touch major league pitching. Also, his basketball court speed should translate well to the basepaths, and his very long arms would generally allow him to beat out tags when stealing a base. All in all, Lebron would have the potential to become a five-tool player, but he would have to put in a lot of effort to adapt to the game first.



Unlike baseball, Lebron actually has a great deal of experience with the game of football. As a high school football player, Lebron was one of the most dominant wide receivers in his state, fielding quite a few offers from top colleges his senior year.

Lebron James would be, by far, the largest wide receiver in the history of the National Football League. Even more importantly, the cornerbacks that he would be matching up against would generally average in at around 5’9" and 180 pounds, thereby giving Lebron a ridiculously unfair size advantage.

If Lebron were to get his hands on the ball, any cornerback in the league would be almost incapable of stopping him. This advantage, combined with his leaping ability in jump ball situations, his massive hands, and the damage he can do as a blocker to defensive backs at 260 pounds, make it reasonable to say that Lebron could have gone down as one of the greatest football players of all time.


As you would guess, Lebron hasn’t exactly accumulated a great deal of experience in a hockey player in his life. However, his physical talents would translate well to the game as a power-type forward. Lebron could force his way to the goal and then wait for easy rebounds and tap them in for quick goals.

Also, if his passing and vision translate well from the court to the ice, he would likely rack up quite a few assists as well. Furthermore, his massive size combined with his speed should allow him to do some serious damage to the opposition on defense if they lose sight of where he is playing. In conclusion, while Lebron’s fit in hockey isn’t too realistic considering his lack of experience, I definitely feel he would have had pro potential in the sport should he have committed to it from a young age.



As a soccer player, I believe Lebron could become an absolute star. In a sport that featuers typical players topping out at six feet, James could absolutely dominate at the forward position. By positioning himself around the goal on corner kicks and other heading situations, Lebron would almost always win the battle, thereby allowing him to rack up more goals just by his head than almost any player in history.

Furthermore, his physique and athletic talents would likely allow him to be competitive in other aspects of the game as well, especially at passing. If I was a Major League Soccer team right now, I would do everything in my power to sign Lebron during his offseason, even if it is just for a month. I would sell the move to him by stating it’ll further help him become a global icon in the marketing world, as soccer is the largest sport in the world. Lebron soccer jerseys would be sold everywhere, and he would become the greatest international star in sports while still being able to play in the NBA without conflict. Now that’s marketing.



Lacrosse is the fastest-growing team sport in the U.S. today, and a player like Lebron would be perfect for the game. As an attacker Lebron would have a clear size advantage over every single one of his opponents. All he would have to do is cut to the crease from behind, and then catch the ball and dump it in for an easy goal. Furthermore, Lebron’s vision and passing abilities should allow him to pass out of double and triple-teams for the assist when the time for it comes. While the sport clearly couldn’t currently offer him enough money or allure to ever get him to play, I would love to see him give the game a try, even if it just was for promotional purposes.



I can absolutely say without a doubt that there is no major team sport on Earth as rough and tough as rugby. (Calcio Fiorentino is rougher, but that game definitely isn’t considered major.) In rugby, players completely demolish each other without pads, and the play doesn’t even end when the ball carrier gets tackled. While Lebron may not necessarily have the stomach to play rugby, his physical abilities could potentially make him a great lock. At this position, Lebron’s size would actually be quite normal. However, his speed would likely excel that of most other locks, thereby allowing him to be a playmaker from a position that typically is more known for its bruisers and ball winners.



While there is certainly no guarantee that Lebron can swing well enough to hit a cricket ball, his long arms and muscle strength would definitely help his cause. Furthermore, his massive hands would compensate for the fact that you don’t wear any gloves in the field in cricket. When bowling, his physical attributes would likely allow him to do so successfully, although he would definitely require some training first. All in all, Lebron has the physical and athletic tools to be a cricket player, be he would need to develop them before he could become any good.

So there you have it. Lebron may be one of the best basketball players in the game today, but he certainly has some potential in other team sports. So, if Lebron wasn’t playing basketball today, which sport would you want to see him in?