July 13th, 2010
09:29 AM ET

George Steinbrenner dead after massive heart attack

[Updated at 9:58 a.m.] New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner has died, Steinbrenner's spokesman said.

“It is with profound sadness that the family of George M. Steinbrenner III announces his passing," a statement from his family said. "“He was an incredible and charitable man. First and foremost he was devoted to his entire family – his beloved wife, Joan; his sisters, Susan Norpell and Judy Kamm, his children, Hank, Jennifer, Jessica and Hal; and all of his grandchildren.

“He was a visionary and a giant in the world of sports. He took a great but struggling franchise and turned it into a champion again.”

The team has seven World Series trophies – 1977, '78, '96, '98, '99, 2000 and '09 earned under Steinbrenner's ownership since 1973.

"Owning the Yankees," Steinbrenner once said, "is like owning the Mona Lisa."

[Posted at 9:29 a.m.] New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner has suffered a massive heart attack, according to CNN affiliate reports.

Steinbrenner was rushed to St. Joseph's hospital in Tampa, Florida, and his condition is not known, the station reported.

Steinbrenner turned 80 on July 4.

The team has seven World Series trophies – 1977, '78, '96, '98, '99, 2000 and '09 earned under Steinbrenner's ownership since 1973.

Steinbrenner is the longest-tenured owner in Major League Baseball, having served as principal owner since purchasing the club on Jan.3, 1973, according to the Yankees website. Over that time, the Yankees have won 11 American League pennants.

Steinbrenner has been in failing health in recent years and his son Hal is the managing partner of the team.

Steinbrenner bought the Yankees for $10 million and under his ownership they have become the most valuable team in U.S. professional sports, with Forbes.com estimating its value at over one-billion dollars.

He also was suspended from baseball twice, once after being indicted for allegedly making illegal campaign contributions to Richard Nixon, and once after paying a gambler to dig up dirt on one of his own players, Dave Winfield.

This story is developing. We'll bring you the latest information as we get it.

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Filed under: Sports
July 9th, 2010
12:01 PM ET

Big ratings for LeBron James 'Decision' special

According to a tweet from ESPN's Dave Nagle, the LeBron James extravaganza Thursday night drew an initial 7.3 rating from Nielsen, meaning 7.3 percent of all TV-watching households were tuning in. "The Decision" drew a 26 rating in Cleveland, 12.8 in Miami.

The overall rating beat out broadcast television's most-watched show of the evening, a rerun of "The Mentalist" on CBS, which drew a 6.0, according to tvbythenumbers.com.

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Filed under: LeBron James • Sports
July 8th, 2010
08:54 AM ET

Reports: LeBron heading for the Heat

If media reports are right LeBron James may not be playing against Dwayne Wade -- but with him instead.

Published reports say LeBron James is planning to join the Miami Heat.

Newsday's Alan Hahn tweeted the news just after midnight.

ESPN followed Hahn's report with its own, also saying James is heading for Miami to join fellow stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

If the reports are accurate, the Heat will have hit the jackpot in the most frenzied talent chase in NBA history, landing the three top free agents.Things could still change of course. Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen doesn't believe the reports and thinks James will return to Cleveland.

Eatocracy blog: Dear LeBron, come for the hoops, stay for the grub

Wherever he decides to play, Us Magazine says LeBron has a big party planned in South Beach this weekend.

Since he knows his new deal will pay him anywhere from about $96 to 125 million LeBron can afford the South Beach soiree' and a new place to live. CNNMoney shows us there are no shortage of housing options in his price range.

James is unlikely to confirm or deny any of this today since he's planning to announce his decision in a prime-time special on ESPN tonight.

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Filed under: Sports
July 7th, 2010
11:43 AM ET

LeBron James: What we know so far

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade played together during the All-Star game -- now, will they play together during the regular season?

[Updated at 8:26 p.m.] Investors on Wall Street may have been betting this afternoon that LeBron James will head to the New York Knicks.

Shares of the Knicks' owner, Madison Square Garden, rose 6.41 percent, or $1.30, to $21.57 Wednesday on Nasdaq. Much of the rise happened late in the session before the trading day ended at 4 p.m. ET.

David Joyce, a media analyst with Miller Tabak & Co., told Reuters that the rise is probably because of speculation that James may announce Thursday that he'll sign with the Knicks.

The Reuters report didn't give details about the speculation. But one thing that may have fueled the hopes of Knicks fans was a Twitter post by Phoenix Suns player Jared Dudley.

At about 2 p.m. ET, Dudley tweeted the following: "Breaking News!!! My sources tell me Lebron will announce that he will be goin to the NY KNICKS tomorrow on ESPN.. This is serious.. WOW!!!!"

Later Wednesday, he tweeted this: "That's what I'm hearing.. I don't care where he goes lol.. I personally thought he would stay in Cleveland.."

The first post was retweeted widely among Twitter users, including ESPN's Trey Wingo and Dudley teammate and former NBA MVP Steve Nash.

[Posted at 11:43 a.m.] LeBron James plans to tell us all where he plans to play next season live in an hour-long special his team is calling "The Decision" on ESPN tomorrow night.  Here’s what we know already:

He’s going to likely get a contract worth between 96 million and 125 million dollars.  He gets the higher amount if he re-signs with his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, takes less if he changes teams.  Those are the leagues’ salary cap rules.

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July 6th, 2010
12:50 PM ET

LeBron will need help wherever he goes

Finding the right partner for LeBron James may be half the battle in where he is playing.

While the basketball world waits for LeBron James to decide where he’s going to play next year, who he plays with could be as big a factor in his decision as the money he can make and the city he picks.

Recent NBA history indicates that no matter how great one individual player is, the superstar needs an all-star, if not an all-time great player to team up with to win a championship.

All-star Kobe Bryant’s Lakers have won five championships since 2000.  He won his first three playing with Shaquille O’Neal, a dominant center who was voted one of the NBA’s top-50 players ever in 1997.

When O’Neal left, Kobe didn’t win another championship until he was joined by Pau Gasol, an all-star player.  Since Gasol joined the Lakers they’ve won two championships in the last three years.

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Filed under: Sports
July 1st, 2010
10:48 AM ET

LeBron already knows who will pay the most

On the first full day of the rest of his basketball life, LeBron James, the NBA’s most-sought after free agent has two meetings scheduled, one with the New York Knicks, owned by Cablevision, one of the country’s biggest cable TV companies, and one with the New Jersey Nets, owned by Russia’s richest man, Mikhail Prokhorov.

He’s scheduled to have more meetings in the coming days with teams with really rich owners.

Ironically enough though, the one thing these millionaires and billionaires can’t use to lure James is money.

The reason is the NBA like most major sports leagues in the US has a salary cap, and each year the league sets the amount of money that teams can spend on players for the upcoming season. This year that cap number comes out on July 8, which is why none of these free agents can officially sign a contract until then.

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Filed under: Sports
June 30th, 2010
12:23 PM ET

Who has the lead in luring LeBron? Apparently everyone

The NBA season started in October and ended two weeks ago with the Los Angeles Lakers' stirring victory over the Boston Celtics in one of the most-watched championship series ever, but the most anticipated event on the league’s calendar gets under way at midnight Wednesday when several superstar free agents, led by LeBron James, can start to meet officially with any team that wants them, and a lot of teams want them.

James has only made one public comment about what he might do, telling CNN’s Larry King this month that the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team he’s played for the last seven years, has the edge in signing him but hasn't come close to committing. That's left plenty of room for speculation.

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