LeBron James' decision this past July to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and take his talents to South Beach was arguably the biggest sports story of 2010. The decision single-handedly screwed over the Cavaliers franchise and rejuvenated the Miami Heat.
Prior to the decision, James was not only beloved by fans of the Cavaliers, but by the entire state of Ohio. James grew up in Akron, Ohio, and in addition to playing basketball for St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, he was named All-Ohio as a wide receiver for their football team.
While James' reputation has switched from lovable to villain by many fans around the league, he is still probably the best player in the NBA and is likely more well-known than ever before.
Here are 20 reasons that LeBron made the right decision to leave Cleveland and play for the Miami Heat.
LeBron James has made it clear that he intends to win championships in the NBA.
By playing alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, arguably two of the top 10 players in the NBA, James' chances of winning a title have improved dramatically.
After all, LeBron's best teammates in Cleveland were Mo Williams, Delonte West, and an aging Antawn Jamison, who have three All-Star appearances among them.
With a better supporting cast, Miami will be the the favorite to win the title just about every year they're together.
Miami is a bigger media market than Cleveland, which will allow James and his greatness to spread to a greater array of people than ever before.
Other than just playing with two of the best players in the league, Bosh and Wade are also very friendly with James.
All three players were lottery picks in the 2003 NBA Draft, and they also bonded on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team that won gold.
There is even a lot of talk that during the 2008 Olympics, James, Bosh and Wade planned on joining forces once they all became free agents in 2010.
Miami has some of the best night life in the country, and LeBron James just so happens to love to party.
With James' additional presence in the city of Miami, more celebrities will hit up the Miami night life.
Prior to Cleveland drafting LeBron James in 2003, the Cavaliers had missed the playoffs in five consecutive seasons.
The franchise has still never won a title and will be hard-pressed to be competitive anytime soon.
Miami, on the other hand, won a championship five years ago, was one of the more popular franchises in the 1990s, and will without a doubt compete for championships year after year.
Current Heat president Pat Riley—and nearly his entire staff—has championship experience.
Pat Riley has won five championships as a head coach, including one as the coach of the Heat in 2006.
He knows how to handle star teams, and has even hinted at the possibility of coaching this team once again.
Although LeBron James might very well be the best player in the game today, many fans in Miami would still call the Heat Dwyane Wade's team.
James got all the focus in Cleveland, but his decision showed that he prefers to be just one of the guys.
Although LeBron James may have lost most of his fans from Cleveland, he now has a fresh new cast of fans.
This of course means new jersey sales and more endorsements.
James recently agreed to a multi-year partnership with McDonald's Corp., to go along with preexisting deals with Nike, Coca Cola and State Farm Insurance.
Despite having the best record in the league each of the last two seasons, the Cavaliers failed to reach the finals in either.
The Cavaliers' Anderson Varejao, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Antawn Jamison could not match up against the big men from Boston or Orlando, and would have had a hard time dealing the Lakers' big men.
In Miami, James will be playing with power forward Chris Bosh, and the Heat will likely have the means to acquire additional big men in upcoming seasons.
Playing on a team with multiple stars will allow LeBron James to play fewer minutes than in years past, permitting less wear and tear on his body.
When he was in Cleveland, teams would often go on scoring runs when James was on the bench.
In Miami, Wade and Bosh can hold the fort when James sits down.
Had the Cavaliers re-signed James, they would not have had enough money left over to pay any other great players.
It is nearly impossible to win a championship with only one good player on your team.
NBA players, amongst other celebrities, tend to be very popular with members of the opposite sex, and Miami, with its glitz and glamour, is particularly known for its partying and beautiful women.
LeBron James, with his fame and money, will have no problems getting noticed by women, to say the least.
LeBron James has a very good chance of breaking the all-time scoring record if he plays into his mid- to late-30s.
With great scorers surrounding him for the first time in Wade and Bosh, James can rack up assists in Miami and place himself among the all-time leaders in that category as well.
To give you an idea, despite playing small forward with little around him, James managed to average 8.6 assists per game in Cleveland last season.
After growing up in Ohio and playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James never knew what it was like to live outside of the state of Ohio.
He finally gets the opportunity to live in a new state, and in the city of Miami, James will find out what it is like to have endless entertainment around.
There had been ongoing rumors last summer regarding an affair between former Cleveland guard Delonte West and LeBron James' mother.
Although this has not been confirmed, it seemingly led to off-the-court drama, and may have been one of the reasons that James decided to leave Cleveland.
Miami is conveniently located right on the ocean, and is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the United States of America.
The weather in South Beach is warm most of the time, a major upgrade from the cold weather in Ohio.
Up until the decision, most of us did not have much of an impression of Cavaliers' owner Dan Gilbert.
Once LeBron James announced he was leaving Cleveland, Dan Gilbert called James a coward, then proceeded to guarantee a championship in Cleveland before James ever wins one.
Gilbert's remarks were certainly an overreaction to the situation, and really an embarrassment to himself and the Cavaliers organization.
In other words, James came out on top in this regard as well.
In a big market with a lot of young people, LeBron James can become super famous, as in one of the most famous people on the entire planet.
It is not as if James was your average Joe on the street before going to the Heat, but in Miami, assuming James wins championships, he has unlimited star potential.
In this particular situation, playing alongside Wade and Bosh not only makes James' team better, but it waters down the competition.
Several NBA legends such as Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley have criticized James for taking the easy way out, but when a player like James cares that much about winning a championship, they will do just about anything to make it happen.
There is no doubt that LeBron James would be wealthy whether he played in Cleveland or Miami.
However, it should be noted that James will save hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of the next several years by not having to pay state income tax.