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LeBron Signs with Miami Heat 65

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

i belive that we all thought that lebron was going to the chicago bulls. i thought he was ethier going to stay at cleveland or go to the bulls.i did not really pay attention to boch's free agency, but he is one heack of a player.i think that it was the best thing thats ever happened to miami since shaq sighed with them in 2002.if lebron went to the bulls he would have got more money but probubly would have won a title like at cleveland.now what boch, lebron, and

guess what in the blog about bosh joining the heat i comented and i said wouldn't it be cool if LBJ joined D-Wade but know that its happened i don't like it sure if wade moved to cleavland that be awsome but LBJ goin to da heat and the way he treated all the cleavland fans was just plain wrong i know he wants a title but he did kinda what shaq did but shaq wasn't a super star O'neal moved to cleavland cuz there was better players on that team thats the same thing lbj did but nobody from anywere except miami wanted this... king james you don't got a crown or a ring

So what??????????????????? LeBron was going to the Heat all along. We all knew it.

Well, I think we all saw this coming when he replied to the question " What is the major factor in your decisison? " as he said " Winning, is the key in my decision. " We all knew it was the heat. I basically could've turned the TV off and call it a day. But instead I watched as he basically described himself, He let down Cleveland. As Jon Berry said, they won't be amazing untill they understand how to play together. And well, Just like Amar'e and the Knicks they won't hit the ground running. And, yes if you follow my posts on this, I was wrong about saying he would go to Cleveland. Clearly, in my opinion it was the right decision..for him, He really let me down, and all the other Cleveland fans, But hey it just adds to the dreaded Cleveland sports curse. And I feel what GM Dan Gilbert said, had to have been said. Sure they might turn out to be the greatest teams to ever play the game, But I will not say LeBron got a championship on hard work and ethic. Instead He won a championship with the stacked Heat team that year, And he couldn't get it done in Cleveland. Well, all the people I've talked to about this are saying " He's retarded now. " I respect LeBron and I still have a love for his game. But I don't respect his decision, To just leave Cleveland helpless like this. When he left he basically told us " I'm leaving because I can't get it done without amazing players " I mean REALLY? I would describe him as one of the greats if he got it done IN Cleveland or ehh.. heck even Chicago, or a weaker team, But when I look back and see how good LeBron was, and how he couldn't get it done without D-Wade, and Bosh.. I'll just laugh it off and say this was just a pathetic decision. It was really entertaining watching him to all that he could, for his team. Its safe to say he won't have to do all that he can, Because he knows in his mind if he screws up a game, Mister Bosh or Wade will help me out " He's just to chicken to accept the fact that he will not be compared to Kobe (even though I dislike him), Michael Jordan or other players who had the strength to stay on the team they were drafted with and win a championship there. That really goes to any player who leaves. LeBron I respect you and best of luck in Miami, but you really let me down. That's my word. Don't believe everything I had just said, It was out of frustration.

yeah right that's a whole essay

Which is it? You said it was the best choice to win by going to Miami, but you said he should have stayed in Cleveland. What do players want in a team? A chance at winning!!!! He can't please everbody. Then his idiot GM disses him (pretty obviously out of anger) about ditching the team. In the interview, he aknogleges Cleveland saying that he thanks them for helping him in his early career. If he kissed Cleveland's butt, he desicion would have made no sense. It was the best option.

Hahahaha. Well, It took about 3 minutes considering I type fast. But if you're thinking most of it is pointless. I agree, I was angered at the time.

Out of curiosity, how long did it take to make that?

I knew it. But i am a Celtic fan.

Celtics RULE they dominate!!!!!!!

I LOVE the Celtics they rock! But I knew he would sign with the Miami Heat.

me 2 on both things

If Lebron is as good as he says he is how come he cant win a ring himself. I think Lebron has finnaly noticed hes not as good as he says he is. To me hes just a punk. And if you got no ring than you no king.

foxes don't play ping pong

Why does every one think that LeBron is the best? Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Paul are better. He is NOT as good as he thinks he is.

Why does every one think that LeBron is the best? Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Paul are better. He is NOT as good as he thinks he is.

Why does every one think that LeBron is the best? Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Paul are better. He is NOT as good as he thinks he is.

WAT LEBRON IS BETTER THAN HE THINKS HE IS HES THE BET NO MATTER WAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!=]

I think so 2.

as good as he says he is? of course he's as good as he says he is! have you seen him play? he dominates even though he played with a mediocre team in Cleveland! he had basically no support and now he WILL, so I expect great things from this guy.

Thank you telling the truth he isnt as good as he said he is he cant win and i think dan gilbert is a beast and his promise will come true.

I thought he made the best choice for him. Did any of you see what the majority owner of the Cavs said!!!! Anyway some of his beat friends are in Miami.

lebron, lebron, lebron.... wrong decision. you can easily tell he only cares about winning.thats why he went to miami. now he thinks, "oh, im lebron, and im so amazing, and were goin win it all the next year just cuz im w/ bosh and wade." if he was loyal and cared about them, he woudve went 2 da cavs. he said, "just cuz i left the cavs, that doestn mean my heart wont stay there, cuz my heart will always be at ohio." well guess what king james, nobody even wants your heart in ohio now, your the 2nd most hated person from that city, and not 1 person there cares about you no more. you were people's role models in ohio now your not. i dont even want your heart in ohio, and i dont even live there!!!! i dont like the cavs!!!!! (lakers =) ) anyone who read this, including the wiz or hoophead or whoeva madethis, even lebron himself, comment back pleez

being loyal and caring won't win him a ring. he wants to win, that's what he based his decision on. he just has his priorities right. if he cared more about hurting Cav's fans' feelings than winning a championship, then he'd never win a ring. yeah, nobody likes LeBron in Cleveland anymore, but maybe the Cavs should've given him more support instead of forcing him to carry the entire team. if LeBron had the best chance of winning in Cleveland, he'd stay there. it's not HIS fault Cleveland is a mediocre team.

Well it's easy to tell you're not a Cavs fan!

P.S. Great desicion LeBron!!! I'm a Celtics fan, so don't think i'm a heat fan.

Well, I'm from Ohio, I honestly still care for the guy, and hope he does well in Miami but he let me down, and I am angered at him right now, But as I considered myself a loyal fan of his, That's what I am. However for years to come, I will not respect his decision. Well, Hey I guess I'll just watch the Heat get use to chemistry of each other, and if they can do that they start beating teams. I will honestly root against him when he plays Cleveland. I guess I'll just have to go back to being a fan of the NBA, rather then just the Cavaliers, this may make me seem like a front runner but I don't think I will get the joy of watching the star-dust, throwing alley-oops, and tomahawk slams by him anymore. Anyways, Good post, well thought up.

Well RunningbackBull, this is a bad day for NBA fans (except for Miami fans). LeBron was always really unique as a superstar, a fun guy with the ability to carry a team. Now he just looks like another dud Jordan wannabe who couldn't win his own title. I don't have a favorite NBA team, but I loved watching games when it was LeBron versus Wade. This is all pretty darn lame if you ask me.

Yeah. That's great. Even though I'm a wizards fan, i think I'm gonna have to get a heat jersey. They'll be fun to watch, like the suns, and hopefully will win a championship.

I can't argue with this decision.

the second person to agree with me, thank you

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