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STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • NBA free agent says chance to play with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh affected decision
  • Basketball star announces decision in prime-time special on ESPN
  • LeBron James, who grew up in Ohio, has been with Cleveland Cavaliers entire career

(CNN) — NBA free agent LeBron James announced Thursday that he will play for the Miami Heat in one of the most anticipated free-agent announcements in sports history.

James, who has played forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers all his career, was basketball’s most coveted free agent. He announced his decision during a much-ballyhooed ESPN prime-time special.

James said he made his final decision Thursday morning, after speaking with his mother.

“Once I had that conversation with her I think I was set,” James told sportscaster Jim Gray.

The six-time NBA all-star and two-time league MVP said the chance to play alongside fellow stars Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami played into his decision.

In the weeks leading up to the decision, James has had meetings with teams such as Chicago, New York and his hometown Cavaliers.

To add to the fanfare, the star signed up for the microblogging site Twitter. By early Thursday morning, his Twitter handle, @KingJames, had racked up more than 286,000 followers.

The star has some big names wooing him. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg lobbied for James to come to New York earlier this month.

“Come on, LeBron!” Bloomberg cheered in an interview on CNN’s John King, USA.

Bloomberg also mentioned that in addition to the New York Knicks, his city’s longtime basketball team, the New Jersey Nets are becoming the Brooklyn Nets– giving New York two chances to land James.

“The great thing about New York is LeBron will be able to walk the streets and not be bothered by people,” Bloomberg said. “But he’ll also have the power of being a star