Social media is abuzz with questions regarding where basketball star LeBron James may end up, now that he’s a free agent again and will not be returning for another season with Miami Heat. There are strong indications that he’s planning a move to Los Angeles, too. But according to LeBron himself, allegedly anyway, his future wouldn’t lie in basketball at all if he had his way. What sport would he rather be playing instead?
On Wednesday, LeBron visited the training grounds of Los Angeles Galaxy, home of the famed Major League Soccer team that once featured international star footballer David Beckham. The purpose of his meeting is unknown, with LA Galaxy club manager Bruce Arena refusing to comment, and dodging speculation left and right. Most believe LeBron is contemplating buying a share of the team, as he’s done with England’s storied club Liverpool. But according to numerous LA Galaxy insiders, LeBron’s visit had a more physical purpose: a tryout.
“With the World Cup going on, MLS is of course on hold, so LeBron came down to train with us and show us his moves,” said LA Galaxy defender Kenney Walker. “We thought he was just out getting some exercise with us, but Bruce [Arena] got us started with drilling, and then there’s this huge b-ball player, tackling the ball and going for headers. It was fun to watch, no doubt. I guess he wants to be a soccer player now.”
Walker’s theory was backed by Galaxy Assistant Coach Pat Noonan. “We gave him a tryout, mostly for fun. But I think he’s pretty serious about soccer. It’s definitely a sport he loves, and is passionate about. He told me he thought he was an `attacking midfielder trapped in the body of a b-ball forward,’ which I got a real kick out of.”
We then asked Noonan what he thought about LeBron’s performance out on the pitch. “I think he was good. Better than you’d expect him to be. And if he were training for soccer his whole life, like he was for basketball, he’d be the biggest star this sport has seen since Maradona. He’s strong and can hold off tackles, he’s got the sprinting pace of any center back I’ve seen, and he’s tall, so he’s invaluable in the box in a corner or as a crossing target. His only real problem is ball control, but that’s something you can learn with practice.”
But another source, who asked to remain anonymous, said the tryout was a lot worse than Noonan was letting on. “LeBron was all kinds of terrible. One of the boys went in for a slide-tackle and got every square inch of the ball, and didn’t come in contact with LeBron at all. But what does he do? He flops down on the pitch grabbing at his shin-guard, wailing away like a baby. If you ask me, LeBron learned what little soccer skill he has from Cristiano Ronaldo, if you catch my meaning.”