AKRON, Ohio (AP) _ LeBron James has confirmed on his relaunched website that he will end his free agency with an announcement Thursday night, July 8 on ESPN.
James' business manager, Maverick Carter, said Wednesday that James will say where he's playing next season and beyond at 9 p.m. on the cable network.
“Due to the unprecedented attention and interest surrounding LeBron's decision, we have decided to make this announcement on national television,'' Carter said on lebronjames.com. “By doing so we have generated funds that will be given to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. LeBron has a longstanding commitment to giving back to the community, and has worked with the Boys and Girls Clubs in cities across the country.''
James also updated his new Twitter account with a link to his site.
In May, James accepted his second straight MVP at Rhodes Arena on the University of Akron's campus.
One day before announcing his plans, James rolled out of bed and went to his basketball camp. He arrived at Rhodes at 10 a.m., wearing his signature New York Yankees' cap, T-shirt and shots. He plopped down on a courtside chair alongside former teammate Damon Jones and within minutes the back-to-back MVP was talking on his cell phone and sending text messages.
On Tuesday night, ESPN, citing “independent sources'' said James had approached the network about the announcement, which will end a free-agent summer unlike any in NBA history.
Now that Chris Bosh has decided to join the Miami Heat and play alongside Dwyane Wade, who has agreed to stay with the team, all eyes are on James.
Bosh, Wade and James have talked about playing together. If that plan is to be truly hatched, it would have to happen in Miami.
The Heat lack the salary-cap space to give Bosh, Wade and James all the maximum amounts they would be entitled to receive in their next contracts, so what would likely happen _ again, if the scenario came together _ was each player agreeing to take a bit less in base salary for 2010-11. If that happens, then they would probably receive contracts allowing them to become free agents again in three years if they wanted.
Miami does have the room to give Bosh and Wade max deals, although would still have to do some bargain-shopping to fill its roster for the coming year, with only Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers under contract now for 2010-11.
Pictured above, from left to right, are LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Below them is Chris Bosh.