Miami Heat

What would a LeBron James-to-Miami Heat billboard look like? ESPN has an idea

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade celebrate with both trophies after the Heat won Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida on Thursday, June 20, 2013.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade celebrate with both trophies after the Heat won Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida on Thursday, June 20, 2013. dsantiago@miamiherald.com

It's already well-known that the story of the 2018 NBA offseason will center on LeBron James. Will he stay in Cleveland or will he attempt to make his NBA championship runs elsewhere?

While James has until June 29 to decide if he's going to opt out of his player option with the Cavaliers and free agency doesn't officially begin until July 1, the rumor mill has been swirling since the conclusion of the NBA Finals.

And with a couple weeks until anything can become official, ESPN decided to have a little fun with the LeBron James sweepstakes. The media conglomerate published a piece Wednesday in which it asked artists with ties to each NBA city to "imagine every team's pitch to LeBron in free agency."

The overall results were pretty impressive.

The Miami Heat's proposed billboard followed a seemingly obvious story line. The title: "Unfinished Business."

The billboard, designed by South Florida graphic artist Charlique Ross, is simple yet elegant. It pictures Dwyane Wade talking to James in the center with seven small NBA Championship trophies surrounding them. A larger trophy is on either end of the billboard with a light red background.

"Had the amazing opportunity to work with ESPN on a billboard recruiting LeBron to come back to Miami," Ross wrote on her Instagram page. "... 30 artists were selected to create art for the cities they are based in. Can’t explain how much this meant to be a part of. Lebron, come home."

James spent four seasons with the Miami Heat as part of the Big 3 era with Wade and Chris Bosh. During that span, the Heat reached the NBA Finals in all four seasons and won back-to-back NBA championships in 2012 and 2013.

Miami welcomes the three kings of the Miami Heat as Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh join the NBA team in a spectacular show at AmericanAirlines Arena on Friday July 9, 2010.

James opted to return to Cleveland after the 2013 season and has since made it back to four more NBA Finals, winning the championship in 2016.

"LeBron promised 'not five, not six, not seven' championships in Miami. Well, after winning just two titles in South Beach, he has some unfinished business," the summary of the Heat's billboard proposal reads. "D-Wade is already back home in Miami and would surely welcome his buddy back with open arms and a glass of wine."

All 30 mock billboards can be seen here.

According to the latest betting lines from Bovada, the Heat has 40-to-1 odds of signing James, the worst odds of the nine teams listed. The Los Angeles Lakers, at 7-to-4, are the favorites, followed by the Philadelphia 76ers (11-to-5) and Houston Rockets (5-to-2).

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