LeBron To Make 'The Decision' On ESPN

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It's LeBron's decision and he's evidently going to let the world know about it via ESPN on Thursday night.

National Basketball Association superstar LeBron James will reveal what team he'll be playing for next during a one-hour special -- dubbed The Decision -- that will air on ESPN and ESPN Radio on July 8 at 9 p.m. (ET).

James, who has played with the Cleveland Cavaliers during his first seven seasons in the league, is widely regarded as the top of the class of the 2010 pro hoops free agents. He will make the call during a show that will be hosted by ESPN's Stuart Scott, who will be joined by ESPN NBA analysts Michael Wilbon and Jon Barry. Freelance reporter Jim Gray will conduct the first interview with James in which he announces his decision. Wilbon will also have an extensive interview with James.

The hour was secured by James and his marketing company LRMR Marketing via a time-buy model, according to an ESPN spokeswoman. However, James's company didn't pay for the hour.

Proceeds from The Decision will be donated to Boys & Girls Club of America in support of James's vision to construct basketball courts for youth across the country. The program will be co-presented by University of Phoenix and Bing.Vitaminwater and McDonald's will also sponsor the program. In addition, Nike and Sprite are making contributions in support of this charitable initiative.

It was unclear at presstime if the show would include commercials, PBS-style underwriting messaging or some combination of the two.

"LeBron has a longstanding commitment to giving back to the community and has worked with Boys & Girls Clubs in cities across the country," said LRMR CEO Maverick Carter in a statement. "With the unprecedented attention and interest surrounding LeBron's decision, we decided to make this announcement on national television and donate the proceeds to Boys & Girls Clubs. We very much appreciate the cooperation and generosity of our sponsors."

ESPN will also pay homage to "King James" with a three-hour SportCenter serving as a lead-in to The Decision, followed by an expanded SportsCenter from 10 p.m.-midnight. SportsCenter's coverage throughout the evening will provide news and information associated with the decision, an overview of the NBA free agency landscape, and a recap of the other sports news of the day.

The sports programmer will also have reporters at the team headquarters of several teams which have been most active in free agency.

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