LeBron James is expected to meet with his family before deciding where he will play next season. Cleveland and Miami are the top contenders. ASSOCIATED PRESS
LAS VEGAS — Pat Riley made his pitch. And now, LeBron James wants time to think.
The Miami Heat president met with the four-time NBA MVP on Wednesday afternoon in Las Vegas, two people familiar with the situation told the Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because neither side publicly disclosed details of the meeting. James, his agent Rich Paul, Riley, and Heat executive Andy Elisburg were at the meeting, said one of the people.
RELATED CONTENT: Cavs free up cap space for LeBron with trade
James has not made a decision and will not make any announcements before today, a person said, adding, "He wants to meet with his family."
So now, Miami waits. So does Cleveland. So, too, does just about the entire NBA — because once James picks the Heat or the Cavaliers, the teams believed to be serious suitors for his services, the domino effect of other free agent moves will surely follow.
The meeting in Las Vegas lasted for more than an hour and took place more than two weeks after James opted out of his contract and elected to become a free agent, and the day before free agents may begin signing contracts.
James spent part of his day before the meeting at his annual skills academy with some of the nation's top high school and college players, interacting and observing workouts. That was part of the reason why Riley had to fly across the country to make the meeting happen, with hopes that he would return to Miami from the gambling haven with a huge win — keeping James in Heat colors for at least another season.
Several teams have met with Paul during the free-agent process, but it appears James has only one decision to make: Cleveland or Miami, the same choice he pondered four years ago when he decided to play with the Heat. With James, the Heat won four Eastern Conference titles and two NBA championships.
James had said he would meet with Riley and the Heat before making his decision.
The meeting came nearly three weeks after Riley addressed reporters following Miami's loss to San Antonio in the NBA Finals, when he insisted that the Heat needed to make some adjustments to get better — but didn't need a massive rebuilding job to stay at a championship level.
"You've got to stay together if you've got the guts, and you don't find the first door and run out of it if you have an opportunity," Riley said on June 19. "This is four years now into this era, this team, four finals. It's only been done three other times before. And two championships.
“From day one to the end, it was like a Broadway show. Sort of ran out of steam, and we need to retool. We don't need to rebuild, we need to retool, and that's what we're going to do."
Miami’s Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are also free agents, and neither has given any hint as to what they will do, although it's expected Wade will not leave.
The Heat has just two players under contract for next season.
Cedar Point adds to wooing James
SANDUSKY — LeBron James has one more offer to consider in deciding where to play next season: Cedar Point amusement park is promising to rename one of its roller coasters “King James” if he returns to play for Cleveland.
A park spokesman says it’s a legitimate offer that originated with the CEO.