LAS VEGAS — Pat Riley made his pitch. Now LeBron James wants some 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. James, agent Rich Paul, Riley and Heat executive Andy Elisburg were at the meeting.
James has not made a decision and will not make any announcements before Thursday, a source said.
So now, Miami waits. So does Cleveland. So 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 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.
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 play with the Heat. With James, the Heat won four Eastern Conference titles and two NBA championships.