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. shmeckell

    I am happy and I’ll be going to some games. I know they haven’t won anything and will be running thin on money for the rest of the team; but it’s not the same when you buy it.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Chuckman

    HAHAHAHA!
    How sweet it is to see LeBronadict Arnold stick it to the downtrodden bottom feeding louts that are fans of any Cleveland professional sports team.
    Finally, John Elway and Art Modell have passed the torch as most hated person in the Mistake By The Lake!
    Couldn't happen to a better city.
    As the old Glenn Frey song put it ... "Tell me can you feel it, tell me can you feel it ... FEEL THE HEAT!!!"

    July 8, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Perry

    I'm not a fan of any of the potential teams, but feel the best way to describe Lebron's actions in this whole free agency is "egotistical and classless".

    July 8, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. susan conley

    WHO CARES ABOUT ANOTHER OVERPAID, SPOILED ATHLETE.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Orthodoxy

    lets go lakers!

    July 8, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joel

    The Lakers will still beat them in seven games !!

    July 8, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric Maxfield

      Want to bet?

      July 8, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jafo

    Hope the heat chokes..... anything they win at this point is worthless. They better win it all every year or they are complete failures. No excuse for anything less.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Roger Long

    James enjoyed all the attention of teams trying to sign him, but there is bound to be resentment from those who chased after him, kissing his–feet, even from the team owners who succeeded.. There is going to be a lot of bad feelings in Cleveland and New York. He was admired before but never again. I for one Cav fan am glad to see him go. There was far too much hoopla over "King James."

    July 8, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Orthodoxy

    may the heats entire team catch disease from lebrons mother

    July 8, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. David

    Lebron is no longer on the same Caliber as Jordan, Bryant, Magic

    July 8, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      he is the same caliber as a player, but not as a person. This was a case of players creating the team. Bad precedence for the league.

      July 8, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ICanRead

    I am not a Heat fan, but damn, what an awesome trio. Lebron's teammates let him down, he would have stayed if they had won the championship.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jaime

    HAH! Have fun selling your absolutely ridiculously massive house in this market.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • ICanRead

      Yeah, he is really worried about money.....

      July 8, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Orthodoxy

    against the heat root for planes falling from the sky and broken sticks!!! long live the ring bearer james not

    July 8, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TARBALLS

    Lebron = sell out
    Too many egos in Miami now. There is no ring in their future!

    July 8, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Chris in Miami

    HAHAHA, Miami is going to win it all. ESPN is calling this a Super Team. This is going to help out the Miami economy big time.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      ask the yankees how many times their super teams have one when they were supposed to
      and then ask yourself will Lebron be able to be humble as second fiddle in miami behind dwade...waht if one or all get hurt....no way its a garantee

      July 8, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
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