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LeBron Signs with Miami Heat 65

Posted: July 8, 2010, 8:29 PM ; Updated: July 8, 2010, 9:10 PM

LeBron James wanted to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The only place that could happen was Miami.

Get ready, NBA: A superstar trio is born.

Ending weeks of silence and drama, the two-time MVP said on his ESPN special from Greenwich, Conn. on Thursday night that he's decided to join the Miami Heat and leave the Cleveland Cavaliers after an unsuccessful seven-year quest for the championship he covets.

"I can't say it was always in my plans, because I never thought it was possible," James said. "But the things that the Miami Heat franchise have done, to free up cap space and be able to put themselves in a position this summer to have all three of us, it was hard to turn down. Those are two great players, two of the greatest players that we have in this game today."

Olympic teammates in Beijing, James, Bosh and Wade all helped deliver gold medals.

This time, it'll be about a gold trophy, the NBA championship one -- the one Wade got in 2006, the one that James and Bosh have yet to touch.

"Winning is a huge thing for me," James said.

It's a huge victory for the Heat, who got commitments from Wade and Bosh on Wednesday. That duo, along with James, formed the upper echelon of the most-celebrated free-agent period in league history.

Heat president Pat Riley landed them all, a three-pack of stars to help shape his quest for a dynasty in Miami.

And for Cleveland, a city scorned for generations by some of sports' biggest letdowns, James' long-awaited words represented a defeat perhaps unlike any other.

James is gone. Home sweet home no more.

He said he made the decision Thursday morning and knows it won't go over well in Ohio.

"They can have mixed emotions, of course," James said, adding that Akron will "always be home for me."

His new home -- part-time or otherwise -- wasted no time in beginning the celebration. Horns honked outside the arena and on Miami Beach, where Wade was watching the announcement with members of his inner circle.

"It's going to be crazy," Wade said.

James, Bosh and Wade entered the pros in the same year, the respective Nos. 1, 4 and 5 picks in the 2003 draft. They went their separate ways: James to Cleveland, Bosh to Toronto and Wade to Miami, where he won a championship partnered with center Shaquille O'Neal in 2006. That year, James, Bosh and Wade all signed matching contracts to make sure they were all unrestricted free agents at the same time.

Season-ticket sales for the Heat's coming 41-game season were suspended Thursday afternoon after the entire supply of available seats were sold out. Not every seat has been released for sale yet and some will be held back for single-game purchases at the 19,600-capacity arena.

"I'll believe it when I see it," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said while attending a tournament of high school stars at Cleveland State University, co-sponsored by James and Nike, one of the 25-year-old's corporate partners.

Believe it.

The Cavaliers, a franchise that was in ruins before winning a lottery drawing and bringing James up Interstate 77 from his Akron home, have had the upper hand ? until now. They were able to offer him more money ? $30 million more ? than any other team.

This wasn't about money, though.

Wade and Bosh both said they would take fewer dollars to make this happen. And that, combined with what Riley and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said to James on the recruiting tour, was enough to pull off the stunner.

Because they have overspent while trying to please James and win the first title by any of Cleveland's three pro sports teams since 1964, the Cavs are strapped with a few big contracts that have eaten up salary-cap space and prevented them from making roster moves to improve the team.

They've come close to winning it all with James, who at 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds has the quickness of a point guard and brute force of an NFL defensive lineman.

With the possible exception of Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, James is the NBA's premier player, but his legacy cannot be fulfilled until he wins a championship.

If it's going to happen soon, it'll happen in Miami.

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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65 Comments

Lebron James is now #6

Go Heat!

Why is everyone moving around? First Shaquile O'Neil, now Lebron James. I'm actually pretty happy about Shaq. But Who,s next, Kevin Garnett? GO CELTICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't think Lebron is even that good. I am a celtics fan and I think kobe is a better player with better sportsmanship.

Amen to that.

Say hello to the finals Heat! They'll beat the Lakers for sure! They'll be unstoppable! Look outta the way Lakers! Here comes the real champs!!

YEA!

Your awesome

your right they will go all the way

he should have gone with the knicks

why the knicks, he's good where he's at!

Whoa. I've got to say this. LeBron isn't my favorite. But who cannot like that team. They have Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and King LeBron James. That trio will rock the NBA. Kobe and Championship? Goodbye. Gone. Miami Heat... here comes a CHAMPIONSHIP!!!

They will rock the NBA he made a good choice, he felt he needed to be with a team he can make it to the finals with, and he chose a good team, i think they'll come out firing and get a chmpionship ring

how could you like lebron he killed his legacy in the NBA

only lebron knows whether he made the right decision, so if u think he made the wrong decision, u dont knw urself. if lebrons heart feels in the right place, then he made the right decision, regaurdless of wut others say. good luck lebron

we cant 4get miamis draft pick....DA'SEAN BUTLER .! my hero and legend at wvu. the big three can deffinitley teach him and maybe get him some minutes after rehab for his knee injury. WEST VIRGINIA LOVES U DA'SEAN .! <3 GOOD LUCK IN ALL U DO .!

He thinks if he wins the finals with heat he will look like a great super star. the think he'd look great if he stayed and carried a team to vitory him self.

I don't get it, everyone is saying he made the wrong decision, but of course he made the right decision! He has his priorities right, he wants to win, and the place where he is most likely to win right now is Miami! it's completely logical, and I hope he does really well in Miami. Money wasn't a factor in his decision, so that was a mature, classy decision. everyone is like, "he hasn't won a ring, so he isn't good blah blah blah" but now he has the best chance to win a ring. if he was playing on a decent team he would've won four or five rings by now, but you can't win a ring with one guy on the team. that's how it was in Cleveland, but it's gonna be different in Miami. Maybe he'll have to give up some points to Wade and Bosh, but again, he doesn't really care about that as long as he wins. so it was a great decision, can't wait to see the Heat play. so all you who say it was the wrong decision, he just has his priorities right!!

I like lebron a LOT less now after that decision. I am a Cavs fan and I still am even though Lebrons gone. How much you wanna bet a bunch of people are gonna be Heat fans now because they are the favorites to win. Just like the celtics in 08. All of the sudden when the celtics are the favorites to win it in 08,, theres a bunch of celtics fans. Just a bunch of bandwagon jumpers.

me 2 xcxc124 im wit u on that one

i like lebron james a lot more now that hes with the heat ive always liked miame

I still like Lebron, just less. And u act like I just had a whole paragraph that bagged on Lebron... Well I didnt!!! Ya and I agree that the cavs were losers last season they totally dissapointed.But seriously u cant say Mo williams and Antawn Jamison were cheerleaders. Behind Lebron, they had the most points usually. And Shaq had some big games. Like Game 5 boston series 21 points!!!!

Ummmm did you like the cavs before or after Lebron signed with them? Why is everybody so mad at him he had seven years of dissapointment the Cavs got average player who did NOTHING to help. Did you eve see
last years playoffs LeBron was dunking on one side and blocking on the other. While the other "role players" were being cheeleaders. Give me an L give me an O give me an S give me an E give me an R whats that spell? Cavaliers!!!!!!!!
The owner of the cavs should have paid more, because what he said was unorthodox, stupid, and just plain strange.

Lebron James will hav a great season with the Heat. Beacuse there's Dwanye wade and Chirs Bosh.Those three will win the Nba Finals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Amen Shoot

I couldn't agree more with you!

Chris Bosh isn't even on the team!

That's right bragger

I am a Miami Heat fan and Dwyane Wade is my favorite player so I'm excited about this move, I know everyone says "How will they get the ball from each other?" I think it will work out and they will win atleast 6 rings, and they will beat the Lakers finally. I'm from Missouri

i never cried since i was 3 but i think i am going to cry again

from depressed cavs fan

Well I am a Bucks fan but I think that Lebron made a good choice but supposed alot of
Clavier fans wanted him to stay....But good choice Lebron!!!

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