NBA free agent LeBron James announced Thursday that he will play for the Miami Heat in one of the most anticipated free-agent announcements in sports history.
James said he made his final decision Thursday morning, after speaking with his mother.
"Once I had that conversation with her I think I was set," James told sportscaster Jim Gray.
The six-time NBA all-star and two-time league MVP said the chance to play alongside fellow stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami affected his decision.
Editorial cartoons, billboards and even quips from President Obama have accompanied the courting of "King James."
Speculation began to intensify last week over where the NBA's most sought-after free agent would choose to play after he started meeting with six teams vying for him: the New York Knicks, the New Jersey Nets, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Chicago Bulls, the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers - the team he has spent his entire career with.
Rumors that the Miami Heat was the leading contender to grab James began to emerge this week, with Newsday's Alan Hahn tweeting the news after midnight Thursday.
In an interview in June with CNN's Larry King, James, 25, said Cleveland would have an "edge" if they tried to retain him after he became a free agent.
James has spent his entire seven-year career with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who drafted him out of high school in 2003.
"This city, these fans, I mean, have given me a lot in these last seven years... for me, it's comfortable," said James, who grew up in nearby Akron, Ohio. "I've got a lot of memories here. So it does have an edge."
But the six-time NBA all-star also said he's seeking an NBA title and wants to play with a team that can win more than one NBA championship. The Cavaliers were bounced from the second round of this year's playoffs by the Boston Celtics.