LeBron James’ Big Night: On ESPN, With Kanye West, In Miami

After months of preparation, speculation and predictions, the decision finally came down on Thursday night. LeBron James, perhaps the most coveted free agent in the history of the NBA (and maybe in all of professional sports), announced live on ESPN that he will be playing basketball alongside Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and the rest of the players of the Miami Heat. Though the details of his contract have not yet been disclosed (the same goes for the new deals for Wade and Bosh), it’s certainly going to be lucrative, not only for LeBron but also for the Heat (who have now elevated themselves to one of the four or five teams in the NBA’s most elite echelon) and the city of Miami.

James had quite a busy night, actually. The special — called simply “The Decision” — aired live on ESPN. Host Jim Gray discussed James’ goals and motivations, and the superstar also spent some time talking about his work with the Boys and Girls Club of America (ESPN donated their national ad time money to the organization). Also present at the announcement? Kanye West, who wasn’t involved in the show but did sit in the audience, presumably for moral support (though one would think West would be upset James didn’t sign with his hometown Chicago Bulls).

Once the cameras stopped rolling, it wasn’t over for LeBron. He jumped on a plane and headed for his new basketball home. Obviously, the fervor surrounding his arrival was great, and he was greeted as the latest superstar to call the southern tip of Florida home.

(Click here for more photos from LeBron James’ big night, including scenes from “The Decision,” his arrival in Miami and an appearance by Kanye West!)

What do you think of LeBron James’ decision to go to Miami? Let us know in the comments!