The decision is in. Sorry, Cleveland, New York, Chicago. But King James’ throne now resides in Miami. The 25-year-old basketball phenom told ESPN’s Jim Gray in a planned interview special Thursday night that he will be teaming up with fellow superstar Dwyane Wade and star forward Chris Bosh in Miami. “We’re going to be a real good team,” said James.
The basketball star served seven seasons with his home state team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, molding the franchise into a postseason regular. The Cavs reached the playoffs five times with James as its linchpin but failed to win a championship, ultimately leading to the decision, James said, he made on Thursday morning. “I can’t say it was always in my plans, because I never thought it was possible,” James said. “Those are two great players…you add me, we’re going to have fun.”
Contract figures have not been reported yet, but it’s expected that James, Wade and Bosh will each take less money to bring the “super team” together.
James suggested the star trio plans to be just as unselfish with the basketball as they are with the money. “It’s not about the individual, it’s about the team,” James said. “It was never about that or else I would have stayed in Cleveland, Chris would have stayed in Toronto and Dwyane wouldn’t have asked us to come. This has nothing to do with the individual.”
James’ stunning decision triggered parties in South Beach Thursday night, but it also broke hearts in Ohio. ESPN cameras captured Cavs fans at bars crying when he dropped the bomb. You could sense the sorrow in James, too. “I never wanted to leave Cleveland…my heart hurts for them,” James told Gray, the interviewer. “The seven years we had were like no other…we took our fans to levels we never seen. I feel bad I couldn’t bring us a championship…but I’m ready to continue to try to get one with my new teammates in Miami. I’ll see you soon.”
?It may not be very difficult for LeBron to nab his championship now. The Heat’s roster now holds two future Hall of Famers in their primes, and one of the top five big men in the league.
But according to Cavs owner, Dan Gilbert, that won’t help LeBron get a championship before his former squad does. “I personally guarantee that the Cleveland Cavaliers will win an NBA championship before the self-titled former ‘king’ wins one,” an angry Gilbert said via the team’s Web site.
Gilbert said he and the fans of Cleveland feel disrespected not just by James’ decision to leave, but also how he “quit” on them in the playoffs. “He quit,” Gilbert told The Associated Press. “Not just in Game 5, but in Games 2, 4 and 6 . Watch the tape. The Boston series was unlike anything in the history of sports for a superstar. He has gotten a free pass. People have covered up for for way too long. Tonight we saw who he really is.”