ESPN: LeBron James Wasn’t Behind ‘The Decision’ Show Announcing Move To Miami Heat

Jun 27, 2020, 7:57 PM
LeBron James...
LeBron James attends the LeBron James Pre Decision Meet and Greet on July 8, 2010 in Greenwich, Connecticut. Proceeds from tonight's 2.5 million dollar event will be donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Estabrook Group)
(Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Estabrook Group)

SALT LAKE CITY, UtahESPN said that NBA star LeBron James wasn’t behind “The Decision” show in 2010 when the former Cleveland Cavaliers forward announced that he was taking his “talents to South Beach” and the Miami Heat.

According to a new ESPN report, the idea for “The Decision” came from a Detroit Pistons fan in Columbus, Ohio. The individual was identified as “Drew” in a Bill Simmons’ mailbag column that was published by ESPN on Nov. 26, 2009, seven months before the show.

On July 8, 2010, James announced during an ESPN special with Jim Gray that he was leaving Cleveland to pursue championships in Miami.

“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 replied, “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.”

On Friday, June 26, the individual was identified as Drew Wagner. Up until that point, only Wagner’s wife and friends knew the idea belonged to him.

“That was me,” Wagner said in an interview on Friday. “I sent that email, it’s posted by Simmons, and then seven months later, it’s the biggest story in sports.”

“He’s a good friend of mine,” Graig Bachman said in an interview with ESPN. “And he hasn’t shut up about how that was all his idea since The Decision aired … Of course, he didn’t know that for sure. He just assumed … It’s wild, kind of a whirlwind.”

Wagner said that the idea came from seeing high school players announce which college or university they planned to attend.

“I 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,” he said. “I used to enjoy those Simmons mailbags quite a bit, and I thought it would be a fun idea to send it.”

ESPN is scheduled to air a new backstory on “The Decision” on Sunday, June 27 at 7 p.m. (MDT).


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ESPN: LeBron James Wasn’t Behind ‘The Decision’ Show Announcing Move To Miami Heat