News

LeBron James is leaving Miami

LeBron James is leaving Miami

TAKING HIS TALENTS OUT OF SOUTH BEACH?: James had two years and about $42.7 million remaining on his deal with the Heat. Photo: Associated Press

(Reuters) – LeBron James told the Miami Heat that he will exercise an early termination option in his contract and become an unrestricted free agent in a move the team said was “fully expected.”

Opting out of the final two years of his contract does not mean the four-time league Most Valuable Player is leaving the Heat team he led to NBA championships in 2012 and 2013.

“We fully expected LeBron to opt-out and exercise his free agent rights, so this does not come as a surprise,” Heat President Pat Riley, who said he was informed of James’s decision earlier on Tuesday, said in a statement.

“We look forward to sitting down with LeBron and his representatives and talking about our future together.”

WATCH: ‘Mad Men’s’ Don Draper pitches LeBron’s return to Cleveland

James, who was due to earn $20 million next season, had until June 30 to decide whether to head back to free agency.

Qualified players become free agents on July 1.

The decision allows James to explore his options, including signing a new deal with the Heat team he led to four successive NBA Finals appearances since joining them as a free agent in 2010 after seven seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The announcement came one day after fellow All-Star Carmelo Anthony opted out of the final year of his deal with the New York Knicks to test free agency.

Anthony was due to earn $23.5 million with the Knicks.

James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who formed Miami’s “Big Three” when they joined forces as free agents in 2010, are coming off a loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals.

In contrast, San Antonio’s evergreen power forward Tim Duncan, 38, decided late on Monday to continue for an 18th campaign with the Spurs by exercising his $10.3 million option for next season.

(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)

Recent Headlines

in Sports

This weekend’s sports schedule

votto

Here's a look at some of the major sporting events happening this weekend.

in Sports

This week’s best sports shots

AP_525787848997

A look back at some of this week's biggest plays and best moments in sports.

in National

Making headlines this week

AP_272074667250

A look back at some of the week's biggest headlines and the stories you may have missed.

in Sports, Weird

WATCH: Miami Marlins play dirty

15-overlay18

After the Washington Nationals started playing soft rock during opponent's batting practices, the Marlins decided to pay them back with some trolling in the form of fart noises.

in Sports

Urban Meyer, ‘trademarked’ coach

urbanmeyer

Ohio State University is taking steps to ensure the name of football coach Urban Meyer doesn't show up on knock-off apparel.