For days, commentators have been following every hint on where the free-agent forward might land, a decision that was seen to mean millions more dollars in profits and vastly improved on-the-court fortunes for any team he picked.
A prediction by ESPN's Chris Broussard early Thursday that James would join Wade and Bosh to sign with the Miami Heat caused shares of the New York Knicks' parent company, Madison Square Garden Incorporated, to drop.
The stock had gone up after it was announced James would air his decision live on ESPN from the Boys & Girls Club in Greenwich, Connecticut, not far from New York City. The broadcast benefitted The Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
"It just shows you how front-and-center this two-year odyssey of where he's going to go has become," Brad Adgate, a media analyst at Horizon Media, told ABC News Radio Thursday.
The Cleveland Cavaliers tried to retain James' talents and offered the lure of continuing to play for his hometown team.
Betty White, star of the sitcom "Hot in Cleveland," taped public appeals for James to stay at home, and members of the media have noted James' departure likely would be an economic jolt to the Cavaliers and the city of Cleveland, where he has been a huge draw.
But representatives of teams in larger markets also courted James with a barrage of big-city glitz.
The New Jersey Nets brought rap superstar Jay-Z, a minority partner in the team, and Mikhail Prokhorov, the team's principal owner who is one of the world's richest men -- and the suggestion of an international marketing push behind James.
The New York Knicks suggested James picture his name in big-city lights alongside a superstar or two to be named later, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a personal appeal for James to come to New York.
The Chicago Bulls, the team where Michael Jordan starred, also came calling.
The Heat brought Riley, a legendary and charismatic former coach, to the table, and then the prospect of playing alongside Wade and Bosh.
If the goal of speculation, analysis, reading of tea leaves and finally, a prime time special, is to maximize attention, Adgate, of Horizon Media, said it has worked for James.
"He's become bigger than the sport," Adgate said. "He thought he could pull this off and he's doing it."
James told "GMA" he changed his mind several times before settling on Miami.
"I woke up some days wanting to stay at home. You know, home was best. I woke up some days saying that New York was the best... Sometimes I had dreams about teams, places that didn't even have an NBA franchise. There was just so much going on," he said. "But the process also came down to me sitting down with my friends and my family and saying the pros versus the cons and this city versus that city or whatever the case may be."
Now that the decision has been made, the whole sports world will be watching and waiting.
In his first tweet as a member of the Miami Heat early Friday morning, James wrote, "Just landed in my new home. Thanks to all the fans and Miami organization who greeted me. The Road to History starts now!"
ABC News' Aaron Katersky, Brian Braiker, Karen Travers, Brian Cohen and Lee Ferran contributed to this report.