James' moment arrives in a made-for-TV special

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AKRON, Ohio --- More than two years of hype, drama, conjecture and expectation have dwindled to a few more hours.

Free agent LeBron James will announce which team he will sign with tonight on an hourlong special on ESPN.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Free agent LeBron James will announce which team he will sign with tonight on an hourlong special on ESPN.

LeBron James' big moment is here -- not as an NBA champion but as a free agent. There will be no parade, no ring ceremony, no banner raising.

Instead, on a prime time made-for-TV special his handlers contracted with ESPN, James will announce tonight where he'll play next season and beyond. Fans from coast to coast will tune in to watch, with the ones in his home state of Ohio praying they won't have their hearts broken again.

The Decision, it's been dubbed.

In Cleveland, they can only hope it doesn't join The Drive, The Fumble, The Shot and The Move in the lexicon of sports misery.

James has kept everyone waiting. It's time to come clean.

"I'll be watching," said fellow free agent superstar Dwyane Wade, who agreed to re-sign with Miami on Wednesday and might be trying to recruit James. "We've scheduled it. I'll make sure I'm in front of the TV tomorrow at 9 to watch like everyone else."

James will announce his plans within the first 10 minutes of the special, Norby Williamson, ESPN's vice president of production, told The Associated Press. He said sportscaster Jim Gray, who was hand-picked by James' team, will handle the introduction, announcement and initial questions. A person familiar with the plans tells the AP the interview will take place at the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich, Conn.

James offered no hints about his plans on his final full day of free agency. His secret remains safe, despite an information frenzy and growing speculation the 25-year-old superstar might join Olympic teammates Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, a move that would rock the league.

That's exactly what new Cavs coach Byron Scott doesn't want. He showed up unannounced at James' summer camp at the University of Akron and spent an hour watching the two-time MVP and Cleveland players Jamario Moon, Danny Green, Christian Eyenga and assistant coach Chris Jent scrimmage.

Scott, who was part of the Cavs' presentation team that wooed James last week in downtown Cleveland, said he did not speak with James but was keeping his fingers and toes crossed that James' loyalty to his home state will sway his decision.


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