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. Medina Mike

    Miami will go down without a playoff this year!!!!! Do you think Wade and Bosh will sit on the side line and let this kid take it if they don't move the way he wants them to? Sorry Miami .....you are NOT as good as you think you will be!!!!!!! LOL

    July 8, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Should'veAskedMe

    L is for lame, E is for ego-maniac, B is Big Baby, R is for retard, O is for oblivious, and N is for Never get a ring while Kobe is playing!... just ask your mommy!

    July 8, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kevin Cantu

    Alright Now Miami is going to win championship after championship.......>>.......<>..........<<......ROFL.....MIAMI STILL SUCKS and now they swallow with James on board......ROFL

    July 8, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dcw

    ...I never thought it would happen, but I think LeBron just succeeded in making me a Lakers fan.

    July 8, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sith Lord J

    Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, John Stockton and Clyde Dexter never won championship, they lived with it so could you. Maybe in Dec when you are waving your hands at Wade to give you the ball you will realize the mistake you made tonight.

    July 8, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. erns

    Shawn Roberts
    Which world are you living in

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

    I cant wait for the NBA2K11... lol

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

    Dawanye Wade finally found his sidekick...Side Show Lebron and Chris Bosh looks like one of those freaky aliens from Species ! How you idiots paddle your rears to Cuba. GO BULLS !!!!! Load of on second string talent and run these idiots out of the gym. Soft, Soft, Soft .......

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

    the biggest let down of the year. would rather watch 5yrs. olds play then someone who thinks money can get them everything. So far for 7 yrs. it hasn't worked, what makes him think it will now. Give it 3 0r 4 before he evens wins a championship, have to get through Kobe first.

    July 8, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Angela

    LeBron owe no one anything he gave that city his all even in high school, they should be thanking him for all the money they made marketing him and business owner as well. This shows they never had true love for the man just what his hard work
    could gain them. How would their city have been if he was born elsewhere? They should have been giving him a great
    going away party. This man has a big heart I pray he lives some for himself now and enjoy spending time with Idol player.

    July 8, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Blucette

    Thank you CNN for allowing people to voice there opinion. However, the racist comment should be moderator so that they can be deleted immediately. There is no need to express your disappointment with LBJ leave by point out his race as something to be rid of out of Cleveland. There are other African Americas who leave in Cleveland. And they are to be respect despite this one man's decision. Those kinds of comment reflect bad on you and if you are from Cleveland, on the city too. That worst than LBJ leaving. Don't do that especially if you are from Cleveland. I am from Cleveland. I'm very disappointed that LBJ has left, but this city is just as good a place as any other. We will have more to offer other then sports teams. Just like a phoenix, we will rise again.

    July 8, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ally

    There's loyalty.
    And, then there's a time in our lives when we have to make a tough decision.

    Why should anyone have to stay with the same company (team) for their entire working life, just to prove loyalty?

    He gave 7 years. He worked his ass off.

    Now, after much debate, like any good business man / woman...he made a choice that sits well with his goals and his heart.

    Ohio fans shouldn't be so elementary about this; burning jerseys and calling him and his mother names?

    Yikes. God forbid anyone ever leaves you in your own life; coworker, your local coffee shop person changes their job, your favorite bartender quits your favorite bar....

    C'mon people. This fall will be awesome. 3 mega-ego players getting together on one team? It'll be daytime soap opera and basketball all in one. Wheee!

    July 8, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Yalibi

    The argument that LeBron’s gave up money to join the Heat of course rings hollow. LeBron knows full well that he will make up the difference easily and quickly, whether through sponsorships (even the Heat will find it easy to line up quite a sponsorship program with the formidable ‘trio’), championships, etc. The ‘few’ million lost in annual Heat salary will be made up in a matter of a few months.

    July 8, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Good point. How many people commenting here have only worked for one company? And if we are the average US demographics, 50% of us are no longer with the person we married. I have no problem with him leaving Cleavland; he needs to do what he thinks is best for him. But knowing the reaction he would get from Cleveland, the primetime special was obscene.

      July 8, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Lakers

    this trade doesn't even matter!
    Lakers still got it next year!

    July 8, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Alberto

    You've got to respect a person who talks about himself in the third person ...

    July 8, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
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