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Five years ago today, LeBron James announced he was taking his talents to South Beach. But while his announcement garnered the most attention, he wasn't the only high-profile player to switch jerseys that summer. We revisit the other major "decisions" made that fateful summer, and which moves warrant a thumbs up -- or thumbs down.

Note: Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade, Joe Johnson and Yao Ming all re-signed with their respective clubs and therefore weren't included in the discussion.
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Chris Bosh: From Toronto Raptors to Miami Heat

Thumbs up

Prior to "The Decision," Bosh swapped digits going from The 6 to the 305, incentivized by a "secret" agreement from LeBron to form a new Big 3 in Miami. The result: $110.1 million, one asinine welcome pep rally, five consecutive All-Star appearances, and not one, not two - well, we all know how that went.

Chris BoshGetty Images, USA Today Sports

Amar'e Stoudemire: From Phoenix Suns to New York Knicks

Thumbs down

Concerns over his health led Amar'e to desert Phoenix for the Knicks' $100 million money grab. He was a Broadway hit while clinching three straight playoff berths, but fans turned on him (and the team) in a New York minute once injuries and a lack of chemistry with Carmelo Anthony made the franchise a punchline.

Amare StoudemireGetty Images

Carlos Boozer: From Utah Jazz to Chicago Bulls

Thumbs down

Boozer was productive in Chicago (averaging 15.5 points and 9.0 points per game), but the team could not overcome his horrible D, Derrick Rose's injuries or their Miami rivals to make his tenure a success. His Midwest move netted him close to $80 million, but resulted in an acrimonious divorce reminiscent of his exit from Utah.

Carlos BoozerGetty Images

David Lee: From New York Knicks to Golden State Warriors

Thumbs up

Despite losing his spot in the rotation this year, Lee's decision to bolt Broadway was profitable both on and off the court. The stat-stuffing forward pocketed $80 million in a sign-and-trade deal that helped him escape the NBA's version of Alcatraz for greener (and championship gold) pastures.

David LeeGetty Images

Shaquille O'Neal: From Cleveland Cavaliers to Boston Celtics

Thumbs up

At this juncture of his career, Shaq was in full title-chasing mode, willing to latch on to any squad with a glimmer of title hopes. That led to a forgettable, injury-riddled season on the court; but a wildly entertaining year off it, because, well, he's Shaq. Now can we get the "Shaq statue" a permanent home in Harvard Square?

ShaqGetty Images

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The long wait will be over at 12:01 a.m. ET Thursday, and we can officially, well, keep waiting at least another week. All right, so the official start of NBA free agency tonight may be a bit of a letdown, considering players can't actually sign contracts until July 8, but the wooing is what matters. Like college recruiting, only more legal and arguably less extravagant, teams will try everything short of general managers breaking out their best "Say Anything" John Cusack impersonations to win over players (and we're not putting Peter Gabriel past John Paxson).

Even now, reality appears to be setting in for some. A Nets fan once hopeful for the ultimate prize is looking at alternatives to LeBron, including a way of tweaking the Knicks that goes beyond just careful placement of billboards.


The "fact" is that nobody knows how any of this is going down. From the average fan to the highest paid journalist; it's all speculation. Anybody saying anything different is fulla ...

-- _mongo_slade_

So if Bosh, Lebron, and Wade go to Miami who else can Miami afford to have on the roster? Can I play PG?

-- danielmiller19

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By the time the Lakers wrapped up their NBA title against the Magic, handing Phil Jackson championship No. 10 in his coaching career, we had all more or less agreed he was the greatest coach in the history of the known universe. Or something like that; we have been known to dabble in revisionist hyperbole.

But as it turns out, the best coach in the world isn't the coach SportsNation wants leading Team USA against the best the rest of the globe has to offer. Mike Krzyzewski is signing on for another run at international glory, including the 2010 World Championship in Turkey and the 2012 Olympics in London. Who should he take with him?


Good move. the guys seemed to love playing for him and with each other, esp LBJ, Wade, Kobe, Melo, Bosh, Paul, DWill, Dwight. If those 8 come back, u can fill the rest of the roster with young guys and give them a chance to develop into our future national team. guys like Roy, Durant, Rose, Mayo, Griffin, Bynum, Aldridge.

-- eyerah7

Its good Coach K is sticking around, hopefully we take the World Championships seriously next year, we haven't won Gold in the World Championships since 1994.

-- steel_reserve29

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Two guys from Texas head to the Big Apple and a sports agent could be involved in the resolution. Now NBA free agency is ripping off "Friday Night Lights" for its plot lines. This is what happens when Carlos Boozer takes himself off the market in what was already a lean talent pool.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has followed Jason Kidd to New York in hopes of keeping the point guard from bolting to another team. And the Knicks, making do without Stephen Curry or Ricky Rubio, might be that team in an effort to layi the groundwork for wooing LeBron James next summer.

Actually, throw in Minka Kelly and we'd watch that.


I don't think Cuban has any bargaining chips...the knicks need a good point guard and he loves the big city. also it's pretty clear this is a strategic move to lure Lebron, he has said it himself Jason Kidd was the biggest influence on him as a player in high school and "dreamed" of playing with him. This is pure strategy, and it's a good one too. Bring Kidd in, give him a year to get aclamated, make the knicks better (which he would), and make it a much more favorable deal for Lebron next year.

-- amarebarkley

Kidd needs to's not even fun watching him play anymore. No matter what the experts say, he doesn't have much left.

-- adanperez

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What a difference a few months make. Carlos "I'm opting out of my contract no matter what" Boozer has decided not to opt out of his contract after all, and will remain in a Jazz uniform. Why? Perhaps the cool $12.7 million he'll collect had something to do with it. But we're convinced it's because SportsNation told him to do so.

Whatever the case, Boozer will remain in Salt Lake City with another recent opt-inner, Mehmet Okur. What does this mean for the Utah Jazz next season? It's time you vote below and tell us.

Fan groups: Utah Jazz fans | NBA Where amazing happens | NBA Fanz Only

Ranker: Which players are worth the big bucks in this year's class of free agents? »


This is great for the Jazz as they are now in complete control. If the Jazz want to trade, they can. This is MUCH better than those players walking and the Jazz being left with nothing. Now they have Korver, Miles, Boozer, AK, Millsap & you name it, the Jazz can trade it! And if no trades, great! The Jazz will finally get the chance to do what we thought they would last year until every starter got injured.

-- halfhoosierhein

The silver lining to this gray cloud of a recession we are in is watching greedy athletes have to 'settle' for less than their ego's are comfortable with.

-- fathale

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