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LeBron James to meet with Heat



By TIM REYNOLDS

MIAMI (AP) -- Before LeBron James makes his next decision, Pat Riley will get a chance to convince him to stay in Miami.

Two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press late Sunday night that James will meet with the Heat president this week before making a decision about where to play next season. The time and location of the meeting were still being scheduled, said the people who spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the Heat nor James announced their plans publicly.

"In the next two or three days," one of the people said.

Monday would seem difficult, unless James' schedule changes. He has a commercial shoot planned and was expected to travel to Las Vegas later in the day for his annual camp with some of the nation's best young basketball players, an event that opens Wednesday. James also has been planning a trip to Brazil for the World Cup final on July 13.

LeBon, Riley To Meet

There's urgency from the Heat perspective as well. NBA players can begin signing new contracts Thursday, with some deals already having been agreed upon and plenty of others likely to fall into place in the coming days, so it would clearly benefit the Heat to know James' plans sooner than later.

USA Today Sports first reported the plans for James and Riley to discuss matters.

The news of the planned Riley-James meeting came toward the end of a wild Sunday, sparked by news that one of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert's private jets was heading to South Florida. And the plane did land at an airport in Fort Lauderdale around 6:40 p.m., albeit at a different facility than the flight plan indicated, for reasons that were not made clear.

The plane stayed for about 3 1/2 hours. It was unknown who was on the plane.

Still, the mere notion of a James-Cavaliers reunion seems to have Cleveland - the team the Akron, Ohio, native spent his first seven seasons with before leaving for Miami - on anxious edge.

James opted out of his contract with the Heat last month, as did fellow Miami stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. James' agent, Rich Paul, met with the Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks while the four-time NBA MVP was vacationing last week.

James' decision would figure to set off a wave of other deals. If he stays in Miami, that would almost certainly help convince Wade and Bosh to stay with the Heat. If James returns to Cleveland, the Cavaliers would more than likely have to make a trade of some significance to open up salary cap space.

Riley and the Heat won over James with their sales pitch four years ago - and Miami has been to the NBA Finals all four years that it has had James in uniform, winning two championships. When James made the highly expected move to opt out and become a free agent this summer, Riley said through the team that he looked forward to having an opportunity to meet with him and discuss their futures together.

Now, it would seem they'll be discussing if they'll actually have a future.

The Cavs are hoping they can impress James with a young roster that includes No. 1 overall draft picks in Kyrie Irving, Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins. In the early hours of free agency last week, Irving agreed to a five-year, $90 million contract extension the All-Star point guard is expected to sign Thursday.

Cleveland also has room under the salary cap, but will need to clear more space to offer James a max deal.

One stumbling block for the Cavs could be the fractured relationship between Gilbert and James. When James left in 2010, Gilbert wrote a scathing letter to Cleveland fans, condemning the four-time league MVP. He also told the AP he felt James quit in playoff games.

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
rjen164497 July 07 2014 at 10:49 AM

Sounds like in Miami the monkeys are running the zoo.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
3 replies
vahendren July 07 2014 at 10:14 AM

I only clicked on this article to ask AOL why this is news and do we really need to see his ugly mug when clicking through "news" stories? At this point, who gives a flying flip. He created enough drama last time, we don't need to suffer through it again.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
5 replies
MAD_DAWG1 July 07 2014 at 12:14 PM

Hey james.
NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU DO.
your just mad becouse the REFS DID NOT GIVE YOU ANOTHER RING

Flag Reply +3 rate up
debnaert July 07 2014 at 10:19 AM

Are you kidding me? Cleveland would NEVER have this guy back again....!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
3 replies
budman5719 July 07 2014 at 11:16 AM

I don't care if we have his ear, so long as we don't have back. I am from Cleveland

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Puppers Lover July 07 2014 at 11:18 AM

The only people that were shown disrespect was the fans that supported this jerk...extremely overrated...would be a mediocre player in the Jordan era.....the media needs to get over this jerk...and lets move on...he lost..his team lost fair and square...he should stand tall(if he were a man)quit this crying pouting like a baby...he is NOT the main story ...the main story seems to be another free agent...CA...

Flag Reply +2 rate up
h6666 July 07 2014 at 11:28 AM

ok, if he goes ,he goes, remember 2006 the Heat won a championship with Lebron, it takes a whole team to win a championship, and there is no reason they won't put a first class team together again with or without Lebron.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
2 replies
bigpapapuff425 h6666 July 07 2014 at 8:00 PM

Think you meant without LeBron in 2006.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
bs h6666 July 08 2014 at 8:22 AM

Duh

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Bill July 07 2014 at 11:24 AM

One thing James was bashed on four years ago was not at least advising the Cavs of his intention to leave. Instead it's said the Cavs didn't know until "The Decision". Maybe James has matured enough over the past four years to first let his employer (the Heat) of his intention?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
fkfrakes8 July 07 2014 at 10:05 PM

Cleveland has as much of a chance to get James as I do of having Jennifer Aniston asking me to dinner.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
NICKLEMAN July 07 2014 at 3:09 PM

THESE GUYS ARE SOOOOO GREEDY I THINK IT WOULD BENEFIT THE SPORT IF NONE OF THESE "FREE" AGENTS WERE PICKED UP AT ALL !!!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
mjbhd196015 NICKLEMAN July 07 2014 at 8:28 PM

You are all idiots ,im from cleveland be happy you had him for 7 years the owner put junk around him. Im gkad for him getting 2 rings, i would never go back to cleveland , theres nothing there , just death.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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