According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, LeBron James will opt out of the final years of his contract with the Miami Heat and enter the free agent market. In other words, grab the popcorn and prepare for The Decision II.
LeBron James' agent Rich Paul has told Heat LeBron will exercise early termination option— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 24, 2014
Speculation that James would look for a new team to take his talents to followed almost immediately after the Heat lost to the San Antonio Spurs in this year's NBA Finals, and Grantland's Zach Lowe has a solid analysis of James' potential destinations. But now that he's officially on the market, what it really means is that we're in for another long, over-analyzed, beaten-to-death summer of "Where will LeBron James go?"
Remember last time James was a free agent? Four years ago when he was departing the woeful Cleveland Cavaliers, James' free agency, with incessant speculation and what-ifs, was a story worthy of a summer blockbuster. "The Decision," as it came to be known, was a live television spectacle. Nearly 10 million people watched it in primetime, and his announcement became a catchphrase that lives to this day. This is what we're in for:
And then there was James' welcome party in Miami, which, well, just watch:
So get ready for a lot more of that this summer, folks. Even though there's actually a strong possibility that he stays in Miami, and has opted out of his current contract just to remind his bosses who is actually the boss:
LeBron James will opt-out of deal, source confirms. He's determined to impose pressure on Miami to improve roster and spend, sources say.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 24, 2014
Who knows, maybe this sequel will turn out to be better than the original. He had two years left on his current contract with the Miami Heat. He's spent four seasons with the Heat, and his resume is quite something:
LeBron in 4 years with the Heat: •4 NBA Finals appearances •2 NBA Titles •2 MVPs •2 Finals MVPs •26.9 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 6.7 APG— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 24, 2014