April 25, 2014

It’s Official: LeBron James Announces Plans to Join Miami Heat

All Cavalier fan hopes of a smokescreen leading up to “The Decision” were dashed away in a matter of seconds as LeBron James has announced his intentions to join the Miami Heat on ESPN’s nationally televised broadcast.

“This fall, I’m going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat,” said James.  “I feel like I can win championships down there.  I’m looking forward to it.”

There were thoughts circulating that a lot of the rumor and speculation leading up to the Thursday night announcement could be simply to keep the NBA world on their collective toes.  Would James go on national television to slap the city of Cleveland in the face? Would his team leak information that would ultimately take the wind out of the suspense-filled sales?  All fair questions that have now been answered with a resounding “yes.”

“The major factor and the major reason for my decision was for me to win.  To win now and to win in the future,” said James.

Fellow free agents Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade announced their intentions to play in Miami for the foreseeable future.  James’ addition to this tandem would seemingly provide the Miami Heat with one of the most star-studded rosters in the history of the league.  James feels his decision to join the Heat will provide him with his first ring since joining the NBA in 2003.

“I put myself in a position to have this process where I can hear teams pitches and figure the best possible position for me to win and ultimately be happy,” said James.

“The thing that the Miami Heat franchise has done to be clear up cap space, it was hard to turn down.”

As a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James averaged 27.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists.  Led by James, the Cavs have been a part of four consecutive NBA postseasons, one of which ended at the NBA Finals.  Unfortunately for Cleveland, the last two seasons have ended in what is unaimously considered to be a disappointment.

“I decided this morning,” said James.  “I went day to day – it was a process that I felt was going to happen.  This morning, I woke up and had a great conversation with my mom and once I had that conversation with her I was set.”

Cleveland was said to be James’ favored destination given their ability to provide more money for a longer period of time, but he feared being “31-years old with bad knees and without a title.”

To Cleveland, James said that the decision was “heartfelt” and hard for him to make.

“I never wanted to leave Cleveland,” said James.  “My heart will always be around that area, but the greatest challenge for me was to move on.”

“If it was the perfect world, I would’ve loved to stay.  I just felt the best thing was for me to move on.”

  • Tim

    Well done, Gilbert, I can’t believe he said all of that publicly. That’s awesome, given what we’re used to from owners.

    I hope the lockout puts in something closer to a hard cap, and I don’t care if an entire season or two or more are lost in the NBA. If LeBron misses out on a few chances at winning titles, that would be poetic justice because the next CBA will need a lot of changes because of this year’s free agency.

  • http://shakesthesnowglobe.blogspot.com EZ

    @145

    If Stern reacts to the letter Dan Gilbert can ask him why he hasn’t reacted to two years of tampering by the Knicks and probable tampering between Wade, Bosh and Lebron.

  • LeBronedict Arnold

    does anyone else feel like we just got done taking a calculus final, which we know we failed, but it feels great to be done with it nonetheless?

  • Rich

    Yea, I have no clue how you can be upset with Gilbert right now. The dude has more at stake than any of us, and I’m ok with him letting it be known how angry he is.

    Quite frankly, everything we ever wanted to know about Game 5, the elbow, the left handed free throw…all of it is coming.

    Pipedream: Hope HGH/Roid rumors start surfacing about leBron.

  • PS5

    everyone tearin down gilbert hard core…don’t get it. sure it’s unprofessional but come on! we need this as fans…we need a guy to fight for us now. we declare war!

  • subadai

    @Typo

    What made no sense?

    Gilbert basically said to LeBron…. “My ‘richard’ is bigger than your ‘richard’.”

    I can’t post what it ‘really’ means without getting banned from the site.

  • Shamrock

    Isn’t Dan Gilbert the guy who paid $300,000 for a cartoon to entice his former player? What a friggin mess have fun. Btw I wonder if Byron Scott wants to resign before coaching a single game?

  • i8thequeen

    This is just an easy way to get a championship. It truly is meaningless now. You’ve made a mockery of sports. You play against the best to see who is the best. The Queen you did exactly what A-Rod did with the Yankees. Like how he has to play second fiddle to Jeter, you will have to play second fiddle to Wade. And Bosh, I can’t wait until you feel like a nothing on this team. Riley has just inherited one too many DIVAS!

  • simple

    Lebrion is aclassier version of Albert Belle and Manny and now it will be Lebron being Lebron. We will learn more about his posse and believe me his marketing arm hit its apex tonight and it will go downhill from here. Will he still do his talcum powder hocum

  • subadai

    @Shamrock

    Yes… Gilbert did that. He found $300K in the cushions of his couch.

    Right now… LeBron doesn’t have a dime in his pocket that Gordon Gund, Dan Gilbert, or Phil Knight (from Nike) didn’t give him.

    In a few weeks he’ll have some more (but not as much as Gilbert could have given him) that the Heat ownership paid him.

  • LeBronedict Arnold

    the heat just got a pretty nice sweetheart trade. beasley to minnesota for a 2nd rounder, plus they swap 1st round picks. so, basically, the heat will get a LOW first round pick and they get to sign someone this year with the freed up cap space.

    doesn’t this all seem like it should be illegal? ok, maybe not illegal, but my biases aside, i think this whole thing will be bad for the NBA. So much for Stern having the power we all assigned him over the past few years. he can’t be happy about all this.

  • Shamrock

    It’s just a bigger circus and if you think it was bad what LeBron James did Dan Gilbert compounded it. Gilbert should have spoken out BEFORE not AFTER it’s to late and just looks rediculous. There’s a difference between fans and an owner.

    And Gilbert better deliver on these promises otherwise he’ll look just as bad if not worse then the guy who just left tonight. For the sakes of you fans here not me I have my championships. Best of luck because I think your going to need it.

  • subadai

    @Shamrock

    Just to make sure that you don’t get the lat word in a thread tonight, a reprise:

    Since you clearly aren’t one of us…

    Why don’t you go to Victoria’s Secret (or in your fat ass case, Frederick’s of Hollywood) and buy a thong, and then a one way ticket to Miami on an AirTran flight (all you could afford) and see if you can hook up with one of LeBron’s entourage?

    That way… you can fulfill your dream of being close to the man who you love so wholesomely and we would not have to listen to your anti-Cleveland sports-fan douchbaggery.

    A win/win.

  • CleFanVA

    o, looks like the LeBron camp wasn’t as good at keeping a secret as everyone thought. Reports for the past 24 hours had been saying he would land in Miami and they were right. I actually owe a small thanks to Chris Broussard for preparing me for the news. That said, here are my thoughts just an hour after “The Decision.”

    1.) I’m still, and will always be, a Cavs fan. That’s the first things I thought of when I heard him say, “I’m taking my talents to Miami.” Fine. Go. I won’t go with you. I will stick with the Cavs through thick and thin, even if that means we only win 25 games for the next decade. And, if there is anything I want to say to all of my friends who are also Cavs fans, it is this: DO NOT abandon our team. Dan Gilbert is a great owner, the best Cleveland has had in decades. Continue to support our team, wins or not. That’s what we do.

    2.) While I will continue to support the Cavs, I’m not sure I’ll ever look at the NBA the same way again. It isn’t the league’s fault, but it is my reality. I’ve ALWAYS been an NBA guy. I remember staying up past midnight as a kid to watch Hakeem win back to back titles in the mid-90s while my whole family slept (which forced me to keep the TV volume down to an almost inaudible level). But now, for the next six years (at least) the NBA will be all about the new “Big Three” in Miami. I won’t be able to tune into ESPN radio during the NBA season or go to NBA.com without seeing LeBron and his cohorts in a Miami jersey. As lame as it sounds, that will hurt too much to see. So, I will watch and attend (whenever possible) Cavs games as often as I can. But, I’m probably going to have to separate myself from my favorite pro league for the next decade. That makes me sad.

    3.) Now, to LeBron. Here’s the reality: Cleveland doesn’t own LeBron. He has the right to play for whomever he choses. I get that. More power to him. But…

    4.) He didn’t have to do it this way. This is stating the obvious (and something that has been stated far more eloquently elsewhere) but the 1 hour “I’m Leaving Cleveland-a-thon” was about as cheap a shot as he could have dealt Cleveland fans. Which leads me to my next point…

    5.) Tonight we witnessed the tackiest display of “philanthropy” in the history of the world. This isn’t hyperbole people. This is a fact. Minutes after LeBron saw images of Cleveland fans burning his jersey (hey–at least it wasn’t LeBron in effigy! That comes tomorrow.) ESPN assisted LeBron in trying to deflect his low-blow to Cleveland by saying “This program has raised $2.5 million for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America! Yippee! I’m an incredible human being!” Let’s get real for a second. Reports have already said that ads for “The Decision” topped $7 mllion. So, someone, somewhere is getting paid far beyond the B&G clubs. Second, this was CLEARLY designed as a way to try and play damage control for the obvious P.R. nightmare of LeBron announcing he’s leaving Cleveland in a one-hour special. The moment with him standing next to the president of the B&G clubs disgusted me more than anything, in all honesty. If you are going to leave in such a cruel fashion, don’t hide behind the urban poor. We all know that LeBron could have donated ten times that amount without batting an eye.

    6.) On top of the public flaggelation LeBron dealt Cleveland tonight and the tacky display of false benevolence, the other thing that upsets me about LeBron is how he ended things with the Cavs. I’ll never forget him appearing to quit in Game 5 against the Celtics. I was screaming at the T.V. that night: “LeBron, what are you doing?!?” Maybe it was his elbow, but I highly doubt that (see game 3 explosion) which leads me to wonder…

    7.) Did LeBron KNOW that the new “big three” was going to happen in Miami then? It sounds crazy, but even Bill Simmons admitted on ESPN.com today that the reports after the 2008 Olympics that Bosh, Wade and LeBron were going to team up in 2010 eerily came true. Perhaps LeBron had already decided to join forces with them? Perhaps THIS explains his blank stare during Game 5? At the time, I thought he may have had one foot out the door in NY, but now it looks like it was MIA. Sounds crazy, but I honestly think this may have been in his mind.

    8.) I don’t hate LeBron. I don’t. Honestly, part of me feels sorry for him. He did not look happy in the least tonight. When Bosh and Wade announced their decisions, they were beaming! LeBron looked tortured. I honestly believe that on his death bed (we all die, even LeBron)–perhaps before– he will regret this decision–even if he wins 10 titles in Miami. Time gives us all perspective. He’ll realize the gravity of this decision sooner or later.

    9.) LeBron was kind of screwed when he was drafted by his hometown team. I get that. He was put in a tough situation that Wade or Bosh weren’t. I just want to say, “I get that.” That doesn’t change my feelings, though (see points 4-6…didn’t have to do it this way).

    10.) The Cavs will make the playoffs next year, but they’ll be the 8 seed.

    11.) Cleveland isn’t cursed. I don’t believe in curses. This is just probability, people. Cleveland just happens to be the outlier. And, let me tell you, it sucks to be the outlier on the low end.

    12.) Still, this does feel like a freaking curse! [expletive!] ugh. Stay rational, Dan.

    13.) LeBron’s decision to sign only a 3-year deal back in 06-07 is largely responsible for the position the Cavs found themselves in this offseason. They were forced to go for broke b/c of the tremendous pressure LeBron put on them. So, they traded their draft picks, they went way over the cap for older free agents so they could compete “now” at the expense of “later.” I don’t blame the Cavs for this, I blame LeBron. He got what he asked for.

    14.) LeBron COULD have won in Cleveland. This idea that he had to go to Miami to win is wrong. The Cavs won 60+ games the past two seasons. And, the primary reason we lost to Boston during this year’s playoffs was…(you guessed it!)…LeBron! No person w/ half a brain about basketball will tell you otherwise. He didn’t show up. He quit. Had he played up to his talent level, I’m convinced the Cavs would have at least made it to the Finals.

    15.) I told my wonderful neighbor, Jeff Hatcher, (who graciously dropped by our place tonight to offer me a “bro hug”) that LeBron’s development over these past 7 years reminds me of Anakin Skywalker. I’m not a huge Star Wars fan, but my bro is. Growing up, I watched the movies dozens of times. And, of course, I saw the “prequels.” LeBron started out as the good guy. The hometown hero. The “Chosen One”…just like Anakin. But, fear, ambition, temptation, and ego drove them both to the dark side. I’m not saying Miami is the dark side. (Good for Miami. Have fun with LeBron. I know I did.) But I am saying that LeBron’s behavior IS the dark side. He didn’t make this transition the right way. He didn’t think about all the people who supported and defended him for years. Instead, he dragged them on a two-month long media-fest and ultimately crushed their dreams on national T.V. Saddest of all, he’s lost his home–likely forever. (Watch this, it will all make sense then: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcTuxcZjviE)

    16.) I am thankful for the last 7 years. Watching the Cavs since 2003 were some of the most exciting and exhilarating of my sports-conscious life. For that, I owe LeBron a thank you. But, I also owe the rest of the team I love a thank you. That doesn’t mean I condone LeBron’s behavior. But, I don’t have to give up the exhilaration I experienced when LeBron scored our last 25 points against the Pistons in game 6 to finally vanquish our division rivals while I anxiously pulled out half of my eyebrows, or the excitement I felt when I watched, for the first time, MY team in the NBA finals, or the anticipation of the start of another NBA season were I really felt like we had a chance! Those were great moments in my life as a sports fan, and I’m keeping those forever.

    17.) I feel especially bad for older fans of Cleveland sports. I’ve only lived through half of the let-downs. If I was 40+, I’d really be depressed.

    18.) ESPN definitely catered to LeBron and lost even more journalistic credibility in my book. They barely asked him about the Cleveland side of things and when it came time for “fan questions” they lobbed softballs at him like, “Could you beat President Obama in ‘HORSE’?” Seriously? If you’re going to give the guy a one-hour special, be journalists. Lame.

    19.) In the next five years, Miami will win the NBA championship. I have no doubt. Probably several. I can’t lie–it will hurt to see LeBron win in another city. A lot.

    20.) That said, I AM vindictive enough to want them to fail. Despite the odds that they will dominate, I hope that this whole thing implodes. It won’t, but hey, a guy can dream, right?

    21.) The city of Cleveland will take a significant economic hit over this. Again, this isn’t LeBron’s problem. But, it is just a fact. And, whether or not it is his responsibility (it’s not), it is a direct effect of his decision and something he has to be aware of.

    22.) I honestly wonder if I’ll ever see one of my teams win a title in my lifetime. If it doesn’t happen, so be it. But, let’s be honest, Cleveland fans: LeBron was our greatest hope. But, we carry on.

    23.) I’m keeping this all in perspective. Now, I won’t lie. This definitely hurts. But, I have a blessed life. Tonight, I’m going to sit in my living room, have a drink, listen to some classic country, kiss my wonderful and beautiful wife (who, incidentally, is taking this harder than me…I told her “get used to it, babe.”) , and thank God for all he’s given me. I hope all Cleveland fans can do the same.

    24.) Even though you hurt us, I forgive you, LeBron. But, I still hope you lose.

    Until then…there’s always next year.

  • jimkanicki

    Cle-VA – that was one great comment. worthy of having it’s own post.

    i excerpted the points that i felt were on the money, and will just repeat them. just one dissension… i will side with dan gilbert and say we get a ring before he does.

    ***

    “If you are going to leave in such a cruel fashion, don’t hide behind the urban poor. We all know that LeBron could have donated ten times that amount without batting an eye.”

    “When Bosh and Wade announced their decisions, they were beaming! LeBron looked tortured.”

    “ESPN definitely catered to LeBron and lost even more journalistic credibility in my book. They barely asked him about the Cleveland side of things and when it came time for “fan questions” they lobbed softballs at him like, “Could you beat President Obama in ‘HORSE’?” Seriously?”

    “LeBron COULD have won in Cleveland. This idea that he had to go to Miami to win is wrong. The Cavs won 60+ games the past two seasons.”

    “LeBron was kind of screwed when he was drafted by his hometown team. I get that.”

    “LeBron’s decision to sign only a 3-year deal back in 06-07 is largely responsible for the position the Cavs found themselves in this offseason. “

  • subadai

    WFNY,

    Please use your influence in the blogosphere to begin a campaign in the state of Ohio, and beyond, to donate (and match or exceed) the amount of money that, He-Who-Shall-Henceforth-Not-Be-Named (Lebron James), has donated to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

    There is no reason that he should be allowed to use his access to the media conglomerates of our nation to salve the pain of the sin he has committed against the good people of Ohio or to implicate the Boys and Girls Clubs of America in that same sin.

    It would be just and right if those of us with the means donated to the same charity with an amount they can afford. Not one of us has the means that He-Who-Shall-Henceforth-Not-Be-Named has, but there are more of us. Our voices should be heard. The people who will continue to LIVE in Ohio should support the Boys and Girls Clubs of Ohio.

    I will make the first contribution of $200.00.

    WFNY, just tell me where to send it.

    I urge all other WFNY posters to ask the same question of out moderators.

  • CleFanVA

    Thanks, jimkanicki. I really appreciate that. And, sorry all for the long post. I just had to write my feelings out tonight. It’s 20 ’til 3 am and, I think, I’m ready for bed. Ready to move on in the morning. Go Cavs!

  • MuptheM

    Well at least we don’t have to wonder who the next Pippen is.

  • Ike

    I guess we should’ve known what a front runner he is when he said he was a Bulls, Cowboys and Yankees fan growing up. Hindsight is 20/20 but that was a red flag..

  • Mike

    I think our next billboard should look something like this: \

  • stin4u

    BTW did anyone see windy’s tweet that Boy’s and Girls only got 2.5 of the 6m earned from the “decision” sounds fishy….

  • Tags

    Wade can play.
    Bosh can play.
    James can play.

    But can they play TOGETHER against professionals?

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