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LeBron James talks about his high school football career on Manning 'MNF' broadcast

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 9/28/2021 Steve Gardner, USA TODAY
LeBron James was last in action on the basketball court when his Lakers were eliminated by the Phoenix Suns in the 2021 NBA Playoffs. © Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY Sports LeBron James was last in action on the basketball court when his Lakers were eliminated by the Phoenix Suns in the 2021 NBA Playoffs.

The star power was off the charts in the second quarter of ESPN 2's "Monday Night Football" broadcast with Peyton and Eli Manning.

The brothers welcomed in Los Angeles Lakers star and four-time MBA MVP LeBron James, who in between predicting a Dallas Cowboys touchdown, reminisced a little about his brief football career in high school. 

Peyton Manning, a five-time NFL MVP in his own right, marveled as James' size compared to the other players on the field in the brief high school highlight. 

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"Tight end. 6'8", 250," Peyton noted watching James catch a poorly thrown pass and get gang-tackled by four defenders. 

James responded: "If I would have had a better quarterback in high school, I might have continued to play football. But I took way too many hits and that led me to the basketball court."

At the half, family patriarch Archie Manning joined the broadcast and broke down his sons' first half. Among his suggestions, Archie joked with Peyton and said: “You absolutely have to apologize to LeBron’s high school quarterback, Peyton.”

MORE: How ESPN put its trust in Peyton, Eli Manning

James may have been closer to playing football at a higher level than many people realize. He confirmed that owner Jerry Jones actually offered him a contract to play football for the Cowboys and coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks actually did the same during the 2011 NBA lockout. But he turned them both down.

"We were able to get a deal done in the NBA and I was back on the court in no time," James said. "But I definitely thought about it. I've still got the jersey too."

That got the Mannings thinking about what it would be like to have James as one of their receivers. 

"I would have thrown so many touchdowns to LeBron," Peyton said, "Put him out wide, throw the fade, jump ball ... 75 touchdowns."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: LeBron James talks about his high school football career on Manning 'MNF' broadcast

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