LeBron James is a decade removed from his final season with the Miami Heat. The Los Angeles Lakers star opened up Monday about his infamous decision in 2010 to move from Akron, Ohio, to South Beach 13 years ago.
James answered questions from reporters after the Lakers’ morning shootaround at the Kasea Center in Miami, Florida.
The four-time MVP reflected on his unforgettable experience with the Heat, which helped him win two championships and reach four NBA Finals. James said the chance to win a championship was the only reason he transferred.
The Ohio native also admitted that his efforts to win with the Cleveland Cavaliers early in his career were in vain. A lack of success early on eventually forced him to leave in free agency.
“(Winning a championship) was the only reason I worked with (Dwyane) Wade and (Chris) Bosh. Because I felt like I couldn’t do it in Cleveland,” James said, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin said. “We couldn’t. … I tried to recruit players to come to Cleveland. I tried to go upstairs and help, but it didn’t work out. So I had the opportunity to be a free agent, so I did what I thought was best.”
James famously announced his departure from the Cavaliers in 2010 during a 75-minute segment on ESPN called “The Decision.”
At the time, James’ supporting cast consisted mostly of low-end stars like Mo Williams and Zydrunas Ilgauskas or veterans past their prime like Shaquille O’Neal and Antawn Jamison.
James’ decision proved to be a positive one. He won his first two rings with the Heat and gave the Cavaliers room to expand their roster before James returned in 2015. James and Cavaliers fans got some belated satisfaction after winning the 2016 championship against the Golden State Warriors.
The Lakers star is now entering his 21st NBA season. But at age 38, James continues to create moments that wow fans.