RIGHT NOW | LeBron James back in Miami, Gilbert's letter may be an issue

Do you think LeBron James should return to Cleveland?

LeBron James continues to dominated the headlines as sports fans await word on his decision about which team he'll play for next season.

FRIDAY - Overnight LeBron flew from Las Vegas to Miami. Many have said that his travel plans were set months ago as he prepares for a weekend trip to Brazil for the World Cup Finals.

Despite hopes from fans that LeBron James was flying back to Northeast Ohio from his trip to Las Vegas, the NBA superstar is back in Miami.

LeBron touched down at Miami International Airport shortly after midnight Friday as he returned from his basketball camp event.

The Akron-born basketball sensation was joined on the flight by fellow free agent Dwyane Wade.

This flight to Florida is stirring the rumor mill once again as the world awaits LeBron to reveal his decision on where he will play next. Will it be the Cavs? The Heat?

READ MORE: LeBron back in Miami

FRIDAY - A new report surfaced Friday morning regarding a strongly worded letter that Cleveland Cavaliers owner, Dan Gilbert, wrote four years ago when LeBron left Cleveland.

Gilbert's letter had been published live on the Cavaliers website until just this week.

ESPN's Chris Broussard is reporting that one source has told him that LeBron would already have re-signed with the Cavaliers if it wasn't for the letter.

ALERT: Broussard reports Gilbert's letter may be an issue

THURSDAY 4:42pm - According to WTAM 1100 the decision will be announced tonight before 11:00pm. WTAM sent out a tweet just before 5pm saying a source close to LeBron James told them that LeBronJames.com was "offline and being rebuilt."

THURSDAY: A writer for the Miama News Herald is now reporting that LeBron James will meet with his family before making a decision about which team he'll play for next season.

REPORT: LeBron to meet family before making decision

The report says LeBron will meet with his family either today or tomorrow.

NBA insider, Chris Sheridan, is sticking to his report that LeBron will return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Sheridan first tweeted this news Wednesday after James met with the Miami Heat in Las Vegas.

Sheridan is the only one reporting this information. Sheridan published a story on SheridanHoops.com addressing the fact that he is t he only one reporting that LeBron will return to Cleveland.

In his article he wrote "the decision has been made, although is has not been made public."

REPORT: LeBron is returning to Cleveland according to one sports reporter

More news developed out of Florida Wednesday.

WEDNESDAY - A company that transports luxury, exotic and vintage vehicles showed up at LeBron James' Florida home and maybe, possibly loaded a couple of James' cars on to a truck.

The Internet, specifically Twitter, went wild searching for meaning.

It must surely mean James is leaving the Miami Heat. Why else would he transport cars? Of course, there could be a logical answer.

#DECISION: Where will LeBron go? No telling yet...

Perhaps James annually loads his cars and delivers them to his Akron home, where he spends time in the offseason. He needs a car while there, right?

TIMELINE: LeBron James' life and career

Wednesday WKYC learned that LeBron plans to announce his decision on his website, LeBronJames.com.

What the experts are saying, in real time:

July 10, 12:01 AM - It's 12:01 a.m. Do you know where your children are? Or where they are headed? NBA teams can now sign or re-sign free agents. Nothing new on the LeBron front, however. Including from NBA insider Chris Sheridan, who is standing by his Wednesday evening tweet of LeBron's intent to rejoin the Cavs. He says his sources are right in this tweet posted by his account, @SheridanHoops:

"LeBron-to-Cavs news will eventually post on lebronjames.com. Nat'l media being fed misinformation. I stand by my source & story 100%."

July 9, 9:45 PM - Cleveland sports fans lived off social media rumors all evening. It started with LeBron's meeting with Miami Heat president Pat Riley, which started at 6 p.m. Cleveland time. No decision. Then, rumors that an announcement was to be made at 7 p.m. Nothing. There were many false alarms, from parody Twitter accounts screaming news of some kind to credible sources making announcements that are yet-to-be-confirmed. Basketball insider Chris Sheridan sent social media into a firestorm after posting the following tweet Tuesday night: "Plugged in source says 90 percent chance @KingJames returns to #Cavs. …"

READ MORE: Conflicting reports about LeBron James' decision

July 9, 10:45 AM-The Cavaliers have reportedly cleared enough salary cap space to re-sign James, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.

Stein reported the Cavaliers have facilitated a three-team trade with the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics, that sent point guard Jarrett Jack and shooting guard Sergey Karasev to the Nets and Tyler Zeller to the Celtics.

UPDATE: Why Heat need LeBron James, Chris Bosh to decide soon

As part of the deal, the Celtics also acquired Marcus Thornton from the Nets, center Tyler Zeller from Cleveland and a future first-round pick of the Cavaliers. Cleveland will get a future second-round pick either from the Nets or Celtics to complete the deal.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst reports the Cavaliers now have $24 million in cap space, and James' maximum salary for the upcoming season will be $20.7 million.

NBA FREE AGENTS: Complete list of free agents

On June 25, the multi-time NBA MVP and two-time NBA champion informed the Miami Heat that he would exercise the early termination option to opt out of the remaining years on his contract and explore free agency.

By opting out, James walked away from $20 million for the 2014-2015 season and $42.7 million over the next two years with the Heat.

FOLLOW: Lebron James on Twitter

As of July 1, James' agent, Rich Paul could begin talking to franchises other than the Heat to seek a free-agent contract for his client.

According to USA Today, James is planning a face-to-face meeting with Heat president Pat Riley to discuss his future, and that is expected to happen in the next few days.

Four years after James left Cleveland, the Cavaliers have removed a letter from their website that owner Dan Gilbert penned the night James announced his intentions to "take his talents to South Beach," and join the Heat.

The sharply-worded letter had been on the site since The Decision back in July of 2010.

Below we've created a live blog where we're adding new details or reports about LeBron's next move.

Check back often often for breaking new details.

From the Experts

LIVE BLOG: Covering LeBron's next move

JULY 9TH, 2:15 PM-Free-agent forward LeBron James has arrived at the LeBron James Skills Camp in Las Vegas.

James is due to meet with Miami Heat president Pat Riley later this evening, and will then, deliberate on which team he will sign with.

JULY 9TH, 6:28 AM - Unlike four years ago, LeBron James won't be holding an ESPN special to reveal where he's playing basketball next.

Instead, the Akron-born NBA sensation will make the big announcement on his own Web site.

Speculation continues to swirl on whether LeBron will be back in a Cavs uniform or if he will stick with the Miami Heat.

Many hopefuls point to his return to Cleveland after looking at LeBronJames.com where there are a pair of large Akron references.

READ MORE: LeBron to announce decision online

The first is a quote that's in all caps and prominently placed on the homepage. It declares: "Just a kid from Akron, Ohio." His hometown is also showcased in a picture of LeBron wearing a hat with "Akron" plastered across the front.

Could these be hints that LeBron will make a Cleveland comeback?

JULY 8TH - Seven days into free agency, Miami Heat President Pat Riley made his first roster moves to show LeBron James why he should stick around.

This much is clear: Riley is confident James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade will return, according to people who have had phone conversations with Riley in the last week. The people spoke to USA TODAY Sports under the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the conversations.

Of course, Riley's confidence doesn't guarantee anything. But right now, he isn't scrambling.

Reaching deals with forwards Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger is step one in making the necessary roster additions to improve the Heat. At the very least, Riley has tangible evidence to show James when they meet in the next couple of days to discuss the future. He is letting him know the Heat will spend what is required, including top dollar on Bosh, to win another title after two in four years together.

In the big picture, the Granger and McRoberts agreements give Riley room to present James with a couple of different spending options, including the ability to give Bosh a big contract, too.

But the Houston Rockets would love nothing more than to break up the Big Three, and always-aggressive general manager Daryl Morey went to work by offering Bosh a maximum-level contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the talks.

In offering the deal that would likely be between $80 million and $90 million combined over four years, the Rockets enticed Bosh with the same chance to join Dwight Howard and James Harden that they hoped would lure Carmelo Anthony.

Such is the nature in free agency, where there's always Plans B, C and D for when Plan A goes awry. The Rockets' attention now is on Bosh after earlier pursuits of James, Anthony and point guard Kyle Lowry (who is returning to the Toronto Raptors).

Their pitch, like so many others, was multilayered. But beyond all the talk of a winning tradition, stability and success of ownership and the like is the fact that the lack of a state tax coupled with the relatively cheap cost of living could, by the Rockets' own calculations, make it worth the equivalent of about $120 million in some other cities. (Florida also lacks a state income tax.)

But James remains the linchpin. Only the four-time NBA MVP knows where his head is at these days. And only James knows whether he really is thinking about heading home again or if the city of Cleveland that was so angry with him when he left the Cavaliers in 2010 is about to have its heart broken again. READ MORE - Mobile Users - http://on.wkyc.com/1ogpemC

READ MORE: Heat makes moves to keep LeBron

July 9th - 12 a.m.

Jim Donovan, WKYC Sports

Tuesday came and went without LeBron James deciding where he will play next season. James is station in Las Vegas where his LeBron James Basketball Skills Academy will begin on Wednesday. James spent Tuesday working out with Heat teammate, Dwayne Wade. Wade has been recruiting James to stay with Miami where the two have teamed up with Chris Bosh and won two NBA championships and appeared in the finals four years in a row.

On Wednesday, LeBron will meet with the Miami Heat face-to-face with Pat Riley making the pitch for James to stay the course with the Heat. While that goes on, the Cleveland Cavaliers wait their turn and hope they get a turn with James in the first place. The Cavaliers have done all their talking with LeBron's agent, Rich Paul. Many believe that if LeBron decides to leave Miami, the Cavaliers will be first in line to sign him. The Cavaliers boast a young and talented roster, and with James added to that, they would immediately shoot to the front of the pack in the NBA's Eastern Conference.

While LeBron makes his decision, the rest of the NBA free agent market is frozen as players wait to see what LeBron will do. Chris Bosh has an 88-million-dollar contract waiting for him in Houston with the Rockets. But Bosh has stated that he would go back to Miami if LeBron signs again with the Heat. Carmelo Anthony is sitting on a 129-million-dollar offer from the Knicks. He also waits to see where LeBron is going.

The first day NBA free agents can sign a contract is this Thursday, July 10. The decision from LeBron is expected to come down before then, and when it does, it's expected to be released on LeBron's own website, LeBronJames.com.

July 8th - 10 p.m.

Our Jim Donovan joined sportscasters from our sister stations: Dale Hansen (WFAA-TV Dallas), Bob Allen (KHOU-TV Houston) and Bruce Cooper (KPNX-TV Phoenix). Among the topics: scenarios of LeBron James landing in Cleveland, Dallas, Houston and Phoenix, what it's like covering this story and of course -- predictions.

July 8, 2014: Four sportscasters, one topic: LeBron James. WKYC-TV


July 7th - 1:07PM - According to Dan Feldman with ProBasketballTalk.com LeBron's "entire inner circle" wants him to return to Cleveland. The report was published Monday afternoon. Feldman wrote that LeBron's agent wants to steer his client back to Ohio. (READ MORE)

Sports reporters across the country are trying to figure out what LeBron's next move is. WKYC has confirmed that LeBron was in Miami Monday morning for a commercial shoot with his mother.

According to ESPN.com, the Cavaliers believe LeBron is considering a return to Cleveland.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Cavaliers "are pursuing a maximum contract salary" in order to bring the star back to his home state.

NBC Sports, ProBasketballTalk, is reporting about how the Cavaliers have removed Gilbert's letter from their website. SOURCE: http://bit.ly/1qcfFHT

Big Meeting

Pat Riley is the key

LeBron James and his agent, Rich Paul, plan on meeting with Heat president Pat Riley in person early this week, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the talks.

James is a free agent, and the revelation that he will be sitting down with Riley soon is surely comforting to Heat fans who have every reason to wonder if he may be heading elsewhere.

Paul recently had discussions and meetings with the Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers about the prospect of James joining their respective teams.

The specific date, time and location of the meetings are still being discussed.

Riley's challenge, ironically, is somewhat similar to the one given to former Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant in 2010.

Without any commitment from James, Grant was under monumental pressure to improve a roster that simply didn't have enough support for the best player in the game.

At present, Riley has only Norris Cole under contract and informal indications from fellow free agents Wade and Bosh of what they may -- that's the key word -- be willing to accept to return.

It was Riley who helped form the Heat's "Big Three" of James, guard Dwyane Wade and forward Chris Bosh, a trio of all-stars that led Miami to four straight NBA Finals appearances and back-to-back championships in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014.

READ MORE: LeBron James meeting with Pat Riley

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Social Media King

Taking talents to social media

Since LeBron made the decision to opt out of the remaining two years of his contract with the Heat, his name has been trending across social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. In the Cleveland area, words like LeBron, Cleveland, Cavs, and Miami are the most popular on Twitter.

LeBron is also appearing as a trending topic on Facebook feeds.

Until James makes The Decision, 2.0, and in the immediate aftermath of that choice, he is likely to trend across social media.

TUESDAY: WKYC reached out to famed hometown chef Michael Symon on Twitter and asked him if he hopes LeBron returns to the Cavs.

Symon quickly responded with two tweets.

"I would be thrilled," he first replied.

Moments later, Symon followed up with another tweet.

"He was always great for ctown, its charities and economy. Hate how he left, but think he is a special person."

Good PR?

Read more in John's take

You can join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #DECISION2 - WKYC will showcase comments from fans, sports reporters, and other sources and use them here in this story.


WKYC's John Anderson offers up his take on LeBron's #DECISION2

It looks like to me the LeBron decision is down to two: Miami and the Cavs.

LeBron will talk to Heat President Pat Riley this week. Maybe he'll tell Riley he's leaving and not spring it on him like he did to the Cavs four years ago.

If he leaves Miami for Cleveland, LeBron would make the Cavs an instant contender, and he would do wonders for our city.

I was thinking about this over the weekend, as reports of Josh Gordon's DWI arrest were breaking. If the Cavs land LeBron, it shows the world we can win.

It would show we can get the big free agent. We can contend for titles.

Instead, we grab headlines when Gordon is arrested, just weeks before his NFL hearing that will most likely ban him from the game.

Or we make headlines when Johnny Manziel parties with Justin Bieber, and the national sports guys call us the laughing stock, or our teams an embarrassment.pa

July 8th, 2010

When LeBron left Cleveland

Do you remember where you were on July 8, 2010?

That's the day LeBron James told the world he was "taking his talents to South Beach" to play for the Heat.

Fast forward four years later, the four-time NBA MVP has won two NBA championships with the Heat.

Now, LeBron James has another decision to make: What team will he sign a new contract with?

Back in 2010, Cavalier fans felt like they were punched in the gut after LeBron's announcement to leave Ohio.

These images are still fresh in the minds of Cavs fans.

Chapters
LeBron Watch
The media hype
WHAT'S NEXT?
LeBron to meet with Riley
KING OF SOCIAL
LeBron is trending
LeBron's Impact
Is LeBron good for Cavs?
THE DECISION
July 8th, 2010
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RIGHT NOW | LeBron James back in Miami, Gilbert's letter may be an issue

LeBron James: Will he return to Cleveland?