It’s been 10 years since LeBron James announced he was “taking my talents to South Beach” to play for the Miami Heat.
James, then a free agent, told the world in a nationally-televised special on ESPN that he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Cavs fans – and much of the NBA world – crushed LeBron for announcing his decision like he did. It remains somewhat of a stain on an otherwise mostly flawless career.
According to a new story by ESPN, though, “The Decision” was not LeBron’s idea. In fact, it was a fan’s idea.
The idea for ESPN’s The Decision show 10 years ago, in which LeBron James declared that he’d take his “talents to South Beach,” wasn’t LeBron’s or his agent’s or his inner circle’s or anyone at ESPN’s. It turns out that the show’s idea came from a 38-year-old Detroit Pistons fan from Columbus, Ohio, identified only as “Drew” in a Bill Simmons mailbag column published by ESPN on Nov. 26, 2009, seven months before the broadcast.
The fan, named Drew, wrote in to Bill Simmons for his mailbag podcast. He outlined the idea in his email.
“What if LeBron announces he will pick his 2010-11 team live on ABC on a certain date for a show called ‘LeBron’s Choice?'” Drew wrote. “What type of crazy ratings would that get?”
Simmons was reportedly a fan of the idea.
“If LeBron were smart, he would market the event through his company, sell the rights to a network and reveal his choice on that show … He could even make it pay-per-view … I’m pretty sure they’ll pony up for $44.99 for “Decision 2010: LeBron’s Verdict,” Simmons replied.
And the rest is history.
ESPN will air a special documentary on “The Decision” at 9 p.m. E.T. on Sunday night.