In 2010, LeBron James went live on television to announce his departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers. While James announced his decision to join Miami Heat, 'The Decision' TV special faced a lot of backlash, as people accused the current Los Angeles Lakers star of being selfish and seeking the spotlight. As per recent reports, the NBA star came to regret his decision immediately after it aired. ESPN's new docu-series Backstory goes behind the scenes of the infamous TV special, focusing on the 'far-reaching consequences' of James' decision.
In 2003, LeBron James skipped college to join the 2003 NBA Draft. He was the first overall pick by his hometown team Cleveland Cavaliers, where he won the Rookie of the Year award and made his team a championship contender. James' popularity grew, and he won two consecutive NBA MVP awards due to his improving game (2009, 2010). However, the July 2010 TV special turned out to be harmful to James' image, as the fans started criticising their hometown hero.
James' special, which announced his move after he entered free agency, brought in a reported audience of 9.95 million people. During the show, the now-Lakers star revealed that he would be moving to South Beach to join the Miami Heat and play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. James' decision received a negative response, with his jerseys burned on the streets. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert also wrote an open letter to the star. People viewed the move as selfish, calling him out for not simply releasing a statement. While his decision to move paid off as he won two back-to-back NBA Championships with the Heat (2012 and 2013), James revealed that he regretted the way he handled the move.
During an interview with Michael Wallace in 2010, James claimed that if he got a chance to go back, he would do things differently. However, he does not regret the decision and believes there is 'always going to be a misunderstanding'. James revealed that he does not know how he would have salvaged the situation, but he would have tried to do something differently. He even talked about the situation while talking to Oprah a few years later. “I think the whole decision, in general, could have been done differently,” LeBron explained. James said that it would have been a different scenario, but he would still have wanted to play for the Heat.