After a nauseating overload of rumors, salary cap analysis, source-driven reports, speculation and tweets, the final decision on where the most coveted free agent in professional sports history will be headed came down to these simple words: "I'm going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat."
In a one-hour special on ESPN entitled ‘The Decision’, originating from the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich, Connecticut, LeBron James officially announced that he will be signing with the Miami Heat to form a daunting triumvirate, unlike any other in the history of the National Basketball Association, with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
So by turning his back on the Cleveland Cavaliers, James opted to begin a new chapter in his career with Wade and Bosh, who also happened to be his 2003 NBA Draft classmates and his teammates on the gold medal-winning men’s United States basketball squad at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Concurrently, the 25-year-old James, a native of Akron, Ohio, spurned offers from the New York Knicks to light up Broadway with five-time All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire, who was introduced as the newest member of the Knickerbockers Thursday afternoon.
Therefore, it goes without saying that James will not be well-received at Madison Square Garden and the Quicken Loans Arena when the Heat visit these venues next season; especially considering that, at various points throughout the free agent process, it was thought James would return to Cleveland or become the savior of New York basketball.
However, the prospect of playing with a six-time All-Star in Wade, who averaged 33.2 points, 6.8 assists, and 5.6 rebounds per game last season, and a five-time All-Star in Bosh, who posted 24.0 points and 10.8 rebounds per contest, proved to be much too tempting for James to pass up at this juncture of their respective careers.
With James, Wade and Bosh on the same side of the floor, Heat team president Pat Riley has pulled off joining together the most athletically gifted trio of talent in the annals of the NBA; and there can be no doubt that playing for Riley, a seven-time NBA Champion as a player (1972), an assistant coach (1980) and a head coach (1982, 1985, 1987-1988, 2006), was an important factor in James’ decision.
But Riley’s genius will truly be measured between now and beginning of the 2010-11 season as he proceeds to surround his marquee talent with the players necessary to place Miami in a position to win multiple championships.
As for the New York Knicks, fans are left to wonder were the past two years of clearing the salary cap space to bring LeBron James to the Big Apple worth it.
Amar’e Stoudemire is a tremendous building block but, make no mistake about it, James was the foundation of Donnie Walsh’s game plan from the moment he took the job as President of Basketball Operations; even if it came with the guarantee of two seasons of futility.
Is a third in the offing as the Knicks and the rest of the league collectively begin to look forward to the summer of 2011 when Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony become free agents?
Only time will tell.
Click here to read the original article on Examiner.com, which includes relevant links and special video presentations featuring LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.