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. GJ

    Heat fans...be careful what you wish for. I hope this egomaniac experiment fails.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. BeReal06

    DON'T HATE! WHY STAY IN CLEVELAND! GO WHERE YOU CAN GET IT DONE!! OR BASICALLY WHERE YOU WANT TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE MADE AT LEBRON FOR GOING TO THE HEAT, THEN OFFER UP YOUR SKILLS AND TALENT TO THE CAVS AND PLAY FOR THEM IN HIS PLACE. DON'T HATE!

    July 8, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. chase

    you guys are the ones that sound like idots. you only have one career. he's spent seven of those years with a losing team. I think he's given the cavaliers enough. he put them, back on the map. Lebron's never had a big ego. he's one of the best players to ever play the game...get off his jock strap

    July 8, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ohio

    Not really big news in my opinion and contrary to popular belief not all of Ohio is all about LeBron James! I can't help but wonder how many of the faithful LeBron fans will remain faithful now that he has decided to do what's best for him. Just like every other bandwagon...things going your way, you're on; things not going your way, you jump off and jump on another one.

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

      You must not really be from Ohio to say that. You know how bad things are there, not just in Cleveland. Ohioans don't deserve that, no matter how anyone feels about my state!

      July 8, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. weeping icon

    A perfect example of our twisted value system. Even if he does win his championship it will be meaningless. I wonder if his Loyalty tat will be removed

    July 8, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Orthodoxy

    I really want to see a charter jet crash on the way to sign this deal 🙂

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

      Karma calling!

      July 8, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. mishagothe

    This really makes a joke of the NBA. I hope no one in Toronto or Cleveland ever buys another ticket or watches another game on TV. I also hope James trips over Wade and they both break a leg.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Orthodoxy

    he will NEVER be the man Kobe and Michael are laughing their asses off

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

      I am no Kobe fan but at least he has won several championships

      July 8, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • JRS

      This guy couldn't hold Jordan's jock. Mike won with no center and never would be a follower or someone's robin

      July 8, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. trisha

    my my my why did he have to have us wait so long for him to turn his back on cleveland. oh well , i still wish him and his the best

    July 8, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. SCOTT JORDAN

    OH WELL DON'T COUNT OUT THE LAKER'S LaBRON IS A GREAT PLAYER BUT HE IS NO KOBY BRYANT A PROVEN WINNER I FEEL BAD FOR THE CITY OF CLEVLAND IF YOU LAY DOWN WITH A DOG YOU ARE BOUND TO GET FLEE'S BUT LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE NOW YOU GUYS CAN TAKE THE PLAYERS THAT YOU HAVE THAT WANT TO BE THERE AND WIN AND I HOPE YOU ALL WIN EVERY GAME YOU PLAY VS MIAMI REMEMBER BENIDICT ARNOLD WELL LaBRON YOU ARE NOW THE BLACK VERSION – A CHEAP, POOR MAN 'S MICHAEL JORDAN – NOT A HERO KOBY BRYANT , OR MICHAEL JORDAN, NOT EVEN A DOMIQUE WILKIN'S SO- THANKS FOR CRUSHING THE HEARTS OF EVERY PERSON IN THE CITY OF CLEVLAND-

    July 8, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Orthodoxy

    heres wishing the big C on lebum

    July 8, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mike r

    25 year old tool – not of the character of MJ, Larry, Timmy, Magic, Kareem, DR. J, oer many others. Why would anyone support this fool.

    Not a Cav's fan here – a basketball fan.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. watchitsucka

    How in the hell is he selfish. He's taking less money and I figure, if Boston can do why can't the Heat???

    July 8, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TARBALLS

    A black hole is inevitable in Miami! Runn for your lives. Those three egos cannot co-exist down there!

    July 8, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. john

    Incredible! You can't blame the guy as he has accomplished everything in his sport except that ring. Basketball is entertainment (global) and these athletes have given their lives to entertain us. They deserve every penny they get as their careers can be over in a blink of an eye. As I live in Miami, I;m dazed! Which T should I buy? And I was going to cancel my HD subscription after Spain wins the World Cup on Sunday... dammmm

    July 8, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
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