Venus Williams’ Unheard Contribution to Miami Heat’s 2 NBA Championships

Published 05/18/2022, 4:30 PM EDT

Did tennis legend Venus Williams influence LeBron James’ ‘Decision’ to join the Miami Heat in 2010? A newly unearthed article from that year seems to suggest so.

LeBron James became an unrestricted free agent in 2010 after playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers for seven straight seasons. In those seven seasons, he had almost single-handedly made a ‘lottery’ team in the Cavaliers into a legitimate contender to win the East.

In fact, James carried the Cavaliers to the 2007 NBA finals, where they got swept by the San Antonio Spurs. Even though James won 2 MVP awards and 6 All-star appearances while playing for the Cavs, it was obvious that he was not making any progress in his career.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Meanwhile, pressure from the fans, critics, and the media to win a championship was piling on. People were starting to question his image as a winner of multiple MVPs and as somebody who was presented to the public as the face of the league.

Venus Williams’ role in LeBron joining the Heat

Venus Williams is one of the greatest tennis stars in US history. She has seven grand slam titles to her and is the elder sister of tennis legend Serena Williams.

Venus Williams of the United States celebrates after winning match point in her first round match against Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania during day two of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 15, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

But a newly discovered article published on 8th July 2010, the day LeBron’s ‘The Decision’ aired on ESPN, reveals that Williams probably had something to do with the whole thing.

I’m from Florida, so Miami certainly is the best place,” said Williams in an event a day before LeBron made his decision, “I actually have a slide show prepared if he wants to watch, on why. But I’m sure he’ll make the right decision.”

WATCH THIS STORY: Joe Rogan Killed the Michael Jordan vs LeBron James NBA GOAT Conversation With a Statement on “Golf”

The former World No. 1, who is a resident of Palm Beach Gardens, was certainly right in her assessment. In hindsight, LeBron did make the right decision in joining the Miami Heat.

LeBron James’ ‘Decision’ to join the Miami Heat

After a second-round loss to the Celtics, LeBron James decided to leave Cleveland. In a nationally televised interview with ESPN called ‘The Decision’, he announced that he had decided to join the Miami Heat.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

In this fall, I’m going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat.”

This drew a lot of media attention and criticism. Cleveland fans burned his jerseys. But LeBron believed this was the best decision going forward. He saw Miami as a viable option to win not only one but multiple championships.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

LeBron joined Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh of the Heat to form the first constructed ‘Superteam’ in NBA history. Together, they would compete in four consecutive finals and win two back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013.

Whether Venus Williams had a direct influence on LeBron’s decision to join the Heat is not known. But she surely must have enjoyed watching King James play for her home team and bring home two titles.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Satagni Sikder

165 articles

Satagni Sikder is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. He has a Master's degree in English from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, and has been following the NBA since 2017. Moreover, he supports the Dallas Mavericks, and unsurprisingly, Luka Doncic is his favorite player.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT