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LeBron James: Cleveland has 'edge' to keep me

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The King talks to The King
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • LeBron James: "I've got a lot of memories here. And so [Cleveland] does have an edge"
  • James eligible to opt out of his contract with the Cavaliers this summer
  • Two-time NBA MVP headlines list of likely 2010 free agents
  • James says he wants to be with a team that can win more than one championship
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(CNN) -- Two-time NBA MVP LeBron James says the Cleveland Cavaliers -- his only club in his seven pro seasons -- will have an "edge" when they try to keep the likely free-agent-to-be from leaving this summer.

In an interview scheduled to air on CNN Friday night, Larry King asked James whether the Cavaliers have an edge to retain the Ohio native.

"Absolutely," James said. "Because ... this city, these fans, I mean, have given me a lot in these seven years. And, you know, for me, it's comfortable.

"So, I've got a lot of memories here. And so it does have an edge."

James' potential freedom -- he can opt out of the last year of his contract and become a free agent on July 1 -- is one of the most talked about issues in the world of sports this year. Sports Illustrated's website has a "LeBron James Watch" blog, ESPN.com has a "LeBron Tracker" page devoted to his next move, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer's site has a "LeBron-O-Meter" that swings with each stay-or-go rumor.

Full transcript of Lebron James interview

Even President Obama has weighed in, telling TNT's Marv Albert last month that James would fit in with the club that Obama pulls for, the Chicago Bulls. And the New York Daily News reported last month that Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he thinks James would love living in New York, should he choose the Knicks or the Nets.

James headlines a list of marquee names who also are free-agents-to-be or likely free agents this summer, including Miami's Dwyane Wade, Toronto's Chris Bosh, Phoenix's Amare Stoudamire, Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki and Atlanta's Joe Johnson.

King asked James about reports that he, Wade, Bosh, Johnson and others were planning to talk to each other before they settled on where to go.

"I don't know to that extent, but it will be fun," James said. "It will be fun to get all the free agents together and figure out a way how we can make the league better."

The Cavaliers drafted James, 25, out of high school in 2003. He grew up in the nearby Akron, Ohio, area.

James, a six-time NBA all-star, was named the league's MVP for the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons. He's averaged 27.8 points per game, and he has helped the Cavaliers to five playoff appearances and one trip to the NBA finals.

But he's still seeking his first NBA title, and the Cavaliers were bounced from the second round of this year's playoffs by the Boston Celtics. He told King his goal is to be with a team that can win more than one NBA championship.

"I understand that me going down as one of the greats will not happen until I win a championship," he said. "I'm going to do what's best for me and my family."

The interview is scheduled to be shown on CNN's "Larry King Live" at 9 p.m. ET Friday.

 
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