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"The Decision": When LeBron James changed the NBA landscape by joining Miami Heat

On this date in 2010, LeBron James transformed the NBA landscape when he announced his decision to join the Miami Heat.

When LeBron James joined the Los Angeles Lakers, he did so with just a 39-word press release tweeted by his agency, Klutch Sports, continuing a trend of his free agency announcements getting more low-key since “The Decision” broke the hearts of Cleveland Cavaliers fans and destroyed James’ Q-rating (at the time, at least).

ESPN aired a live special named The Decision that ran 75 minutes. After much build-up during "The Decision", James famously said he was leaving his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers to, "take his talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat." The decision ended James' seven-year stint in Cleveland, which resulted in two NBA MVPs but no NBA championships.

"In this fall... this is very tough... in this fall I'm going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat. I feel like it's going to give me the best opportunity to win and to win for multiple years, and not only just to win in the regular season or just to win five games in a row or three games in a row, I want to be able to win championships. And I feel like I can compete down there."

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Wade had informed Heat President Pat Riley that James wanted to become less of a scorer and more of a distributor, and James looked forward to no longer carrying the offense night after night as he did playing with Cleveland. Riley sold to James that "LeBron would be Magic Johnson, Dwyane Wade would be Kobe Bryant, Chris would be Kevin Garnett". Relieved of the burden of scoring, James thought he could be the first player to average a triple-double in a season since Oscar Robertson.

When LeBron James joined the Los Angeles Lakers, he did so with just a 39-word press release tweeted by his agency, Klutch Sports, continuing a trend of his free agency announcements getting more low-key since “The Decision” broke the hearts of Cleveland Cavaliers fans and destroyed James’ Q-rating (at the time, at least).

LeBron returned to Cleveland in the summer of 2014 after earning two NBA MVPs, two NBA championships and four All-Star appearances during his four seasons in Miami.

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