LeBron James to Announce Decision on ESPN Thursday Night
The LeBron James free-agent saga is due to come to a conclusion Thursday night with a one-hour televised broadcast on ESPN when James will reveal which team he'll play for next season. ESPN said his representatives had contacted the network with a proposal that included donating sponsorship money raised from the broadcast to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
James's plans are still a closely guarded secret, but as reported by the AP he met last week with six teams -- the New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls -- at his office in Cleveland, OH.
More than 184,000 people signed up to follow James on Twitter after he opened an account on Tuesday, but so far his only tweet has been: "Hello World, the Real King James is in the Building Finally. My Brother ... gas'd me up to jump on board so I'm here. Haaaa."
James's decision is one of the most eagerly anticipated in NBA history, and basketball fan President Obama has even discussed it on air. In May he sparked controversy after saying that he "could see LeBron fitting in pretty well" at the Chicago Bulls.
All-Star James has played for his home town team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, since the age of 18 when he was selected as the number one pick in the 2003 draft. He's since led the Cavs to consecutive play-offs from 2006 to 2010 and has twice been the league's MVP.
Although this year's crop of free agents has been hailed as the most talented ever, the focus has remained on James, Miami's Dwayne Wade and Toronto's Chris Bosh, and there's been speculation that all three could even sign on with the same team, creating a "super team." There have also been reports that the Raptors are working on a sign-and-trade deal with Cleveland for Bosh, and that James is trying to convince him to join the Cavs.
Meanwhile All-Star guard Joe Johnson has decided to stay with the Atlanta Hawks, and All-Star forward Amare Stoudemire, who played last season with the Phoenix Suns, has signed with the New York Knicks.
The LeBron James decision will air on ESPN Thursday at 9PM ET.