As far as basketball fans are concerned free agency is over. LeBron James has decided to join Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in South Beach, playing for the Miami Heat.
In the most serious demeanor I’ve seen him have, James told Jim Grey that he didn’t have an answer until he woke up this morning.
“When I woke up this morning, I knew this was the right decision,” he announced in the ESPN broadcast.
James went on to talk about how excited he is to team up with Wade and Bosh— creating what ESPN continues to describe as a super team.
“I can’t say it was always in the plans, because we didn’t know if this was possible. Those two are both great players, add me to the mix and we’re going to be really good team.”
The ESPN coverage showed a bar in Miami, describing it as “pandemonium would be an understatement.” They also showed an establishment in Cleveland as they let out a groan heard state wide.
When Grey asked James about how he thinks Cavalier fans feel and how he feels about his decision, he gave a great dramatic pause and stated, ”This is a very emotional time for me.”
He talked about how great the Cavaliers organization was to him (owner, Dan Gilbert; GM, John Paxton; and former head coach, Mike Brown) and about all the great times they had as an organization (including fans).
During an interview with Michael Wilbon they showed footage of Cavaliers fans burning his jersey in the streets of Cleveland. It looked as if there was genuine disappointment on James’ face at the sight of his burning jersey burning.
It moved to a lighter mood later in the broadcast when ESPN analyst John Berry asked James about how he would get the number 6 from current point guard Mario Chalmers. For the first time James cracked an actual smile and said, “We’ll work something out.”
An important question that many people have been wondering about was who would take the last shot. James stressed that it is a team and that decision would be up to coach Eric Spoelstra (who I don’t foresee keeping his job) to draw up a play.
Towards the end of the broadcast, it was all about the kids and the different organizations that made this event possible.
One fan got to have his question read on the air: “How long do you think President Obama could hang with you in a game of horse?”
James, a guy known for sinking unthinkable trick shots answered the question nicely saying, “I think he could hang for a bit, he is a lefty. All lefties shoot good.”
James commented on this opportunity and what the future holds now that he is headed to Miami: ”The best opportunity to win, now and into the future. Winning is huge thing for me . . . I’ve done some great things in my 7 years and I want to continue to do that.”
They have to add a lot of minimum contract players, but for right now adding James to the puzzle makes the Miami Heat a very good team.
This statement was released by the New York Knicks and I think the other organizations pleading for his services besides Cleveland feel the same way:
“We are disappointed that LeBron did not choose the New York Knicks, but we respect his decision.”
Check in tomorrow for my colleague The General’s “pros and cons” on LeBron’s move to Miami!