July 8th, 2010
09:27 PM ET

LeBron James to play for Miami Heat

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.

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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.

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soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. dwest

    AS a huge Peyton Manning fan, let me tell you....no one from Baltimore is ever happy to hear any good news about the Colts...Baltimore has never forgiven the Colts for leaving Baltimore in 1983. Sports is one of the things that binds us...and thus, it is a huge emotionally-charged event to lose your team or some like Lebron. Let's be nice to Cleveland.....I would be just as upset if Peyton left Indianapolis and the Colts. There is something to be said for loyalty. However, his Mom said it was okay, and, frankly, I think it's good the guy appreciates his Mom's opinion!!!!!

    July 10, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • rich

      I live in cleveland an know first hand about lebron's mother. She was a perfect roll model, always drunk and reckless. She showed her disrespect for the law by driving drunk, than using her son to get a lesser fine. She must have given lebron advice when she was in a drunken state. Now she can live it up being alot closer to the drug lords, which is her next step.

      July 11, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. perry d

    wowwwwwww.... i think james lost a lot of his creditility this time....he was afraid to go alone for the new chalege and got together with wade and bosh to go for tidle........ he is not king anymore............he could do much beter with bulls plying with rose, bozer, deng and others than take on shampionship with wade and bosh......yes, he was afraid and not showed no confidance....... i'll be always against more than 2 stars /calibre of wade and james/playing at the same tim......my tip of player is Coby who got a 3 shampionships without O'neal....the same is going to do rose with the Bulls.....Heat is surogate tim.......

    July 19, 2010 at 3:06 am | Report abuse |
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