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. Chris

    Don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out LeBaby! Stupid spoiled kid.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tom Farrell

    WAY TO GO LeBRON.......I SUPPORT YOUR DECISION.....YOUR LEGACY WILL AND CHAMPIONSHIPS WILL PROVE YOU WERE RIGHT!!!

    July 8, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Americhill

    Wow Lebron i am really disappointed. I was hoping you would stay in the city that needed you the most but i guess the money was to good in Miami.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • bob

      Lebron would have made more money in clevand than in miama

      July 8, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Obviously not, he took a pay cut going in to Miami. He wants to WIN. You play to win championships, and he will do that here in Miami

      Hey Cleveland, he never owed you anything. His legacy will continue strong here in Miami.

      July 8, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Icantstandrepublicans

      the money was actually better in cleveland, he just wanted to be with what he felt was going to be a "winning team". It's disappointing for the Cleveland area but like everything else, this doesn't dictate who we are as a people. I lived in Miami (91-94, Hurricane Andrew paid a visit while I was there)... it's not the place I would want to live again but I don't make a point to knock others down because of where they live

      July 8, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      He would have made more money in Cleveland

      July 8, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Soothsayer

    Been to Miami three times for extended periods. Can't stand the city!

    July 8, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kirch

    Can Bernie come off his perch now?

    July 8, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tim

    The Heat are almost unbeatable now. Interesting how the players (Wade, Bosh and now James) seemed to conspire to create the greatest team. I sort of liked Lebron, but now I will be root against the Heat every time they play. I will even root for the Lakers over them.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • RexRexington

      LOL, he rather take less money than stay in OH. Good choice

      July 8, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      I don't think it was about money. I think it was about stacking the deck with the top players deciding on a place to play together, win a few championships and sealing their legacy. This appears to be less put together by the Heat than it was done by the players. The Wade and James and I also believe Bosh met before this happened.

      July 8, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JRS

    Let's see I can stay home and be a hero, go to New York and revive a franchise, go to Chicago and do the same. Or i can be a be coward and follw my buddies to Miami and hold Dwanye Wade's and Chris Bosh's hand all the way to another playoff defeat.

    COWARD ! None of the greatest players ever followed others like this joker, I could respect all other decisions, but this is a weak decision.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      I agree 100%. Coward.

      July 8, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. james hart

    Try to win 72 like Michael, Jr.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tyrion Lannister

    Finally! The guy with the biggest ego in sports makes a decision. All hail to the self-proclaimed King James.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mick

    add "the decision" to the litany of ohio sports disappointments... and it isn't going to end soon. the indians have incompetent management and absurdly bad ownership, the browns are football's version of the indians, and the cavs go back to being the cavs. i think we all new lebron would leave, it hurts a little more because he was one of our own. i'm bitter and hopes he never wins anything. ahhh, there's comfort in being sad.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jermama

    Clash of the egos begins this fall.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ally

      Ha! Awesome...so true. I can barely wait!

      July 8, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Shneeky

    OMG – Cheese & Rice who in the hell cares!?!? This kind of thing epitomizes the American mentality!

    July 8, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      Oh don't make this about america......let me guess..you're canadien? I'm so sick of the rest of the world calling us egomaniacs and money hungry. Our economy has kept the world afloat for the better part of 125 years.....i don't like what he did, but the fact of the matter is, what make america great is a poor kid from Ohio is getting paid and living his dream, because he can!! HERE IN AMERICA

      July 8, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sammy

    Of course, if his mother goes with him, there's the silver lining for Cleveland.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. David

    So glad it's over. Sick of the news wasting time on this.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JMG

    Lakers are waiting to bounce the Heat out.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike K.

      Amen to that!

      July 8, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
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