A decade after Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James made ‘The Decision’ to leave Cleveland and join the Miami Heat, the network revealed that it was actually a fan’s idea. LeBron announced his final decision to go to Miami on a live show on ESPN titled “The Decision.”
Several stories suggest that the initial idea came from a fan. Someone called “Drew” from Columbus, Ohio, made the suggestion in a mailbag column released by then-ESPN writer Bill Simmons. He published the column on Nov. 26. 2009. That’s seven months before “The Decision” was out on July 8, 2010.
LeBron was 25 back then. He said, “I’m going to take my talents to South Beach” during the podcast.
LeBron James made ‘The Decision’
ESPN contacted Drew Wagner, 38, to confirm whether he made the original suggestion. Interestingly, he is a Detroit Pistons fan.
“That was me,” Wagner told ESPN in a phone interview Friday. “I sent that email, it’s posted by Simmons, and then seven months later, it’s the biggest story in sports.
“Remember everyone was talking about where LeBron would go, and it seemed to me that LeBron should do the same thing these kids do and announce it live on TV. I used to enjoy those Simmons mailbags quite a bit, and I thought it would be a fun idea to send it.”
The initial proposal suggested a television show called “LeBron’s Choice.” Simmons wanted it to be called “Decision 2010: LeBron’s Verdict.” He emailed ESPN execs about the plan to make a big story of LeBron’s announcement in May of 2010. Well, he didn’t mention Wagner in his email.
LeBron was entering his eighth NBA season. He played his first seven with the Cavaliers and was a six-time All-Star. The kid from Akron led the Cavs to the NBA Finals in 2007. Cavaliers fans weren’t really happy with his decision.
King James won two titles with the Heat and returned to Cleveland. In 2016, he led the team to the Finals and won the title. This was the first championship in Cleveland history.
LeBron is in his second season with the Los Angeles Lakers. He left the Cavs in free agency and signed a four-year deal with Jeannie Buss’ team.