CLEVELAND - After three days being romanced by six NBA teams, a few billionaires, coaches, executives, hip-hop's biggest star, and fixating the sports world on his every move, LeBron James got behind the wheel of his customized car and drove home.
Only he knows where he's going next.
James concluded his personal free agent summit Saturday by hearing presentations from the Cavaliers, whose 90-minute pitch focused on his familiarity with their franchise and tickled his sense of humor, and the Bulls, the last team and the one believed to have the best chance of stealing him from Ohio.
The meetings are over.
The guessing game has begun.
Knowing James as well as they do, the Cavs, who were represented by owner Dan Gilbert, new coach Byron Scott, general manager Chris Grant and assistant GM Lance Blanks, tried to lighten things up by showing the 25-year-old a cartoon featuring him and his friends.
The team had an animated video made in the style of Family Guy - one of James' favorite TV shows - that depicted some inside jokes as the Cavs reminded James that he is indeed part of their extended family.
Instead of making a national tour, James decided to have the Nets, Knicks, Heat, Clippers, Cavs and Bulls meet him on his home turf. At this point, he has no other scheduled visits.
Indications are that James will spend the holiday weekend mulling the offers before announcing his decision this week.
Because it's home, because they can offer him $30 million more than any other team on a maximum-length contract, and because they've built a championship-caliber team around him, the Cavs feel good about their chances of keeping the two-time MVP.
Hoping to tug on James' heart strings, the Cavaliers organized a "fan tunnel" down East 9th Street to welcome him. Hundreds of fans lined the sidewalks outside the IMG building, and when James pulled into the parking garage, fans held up signs that said "Home" while others tossed white powder in the air, mimicking his pregame ritual.
As the Cavs departed, the Bulls' delegation of owner Jerry Reinsdorf, general manager Gar Forman, vice president of basketball operations John Paxson and new coach Tom Thibodeau arrived.
The Bulls stayed for three hours, one day after they sat down with Dwyane Wade for the second time since free agency opened. Chicago's group left in two black SUVs to a chorus of boos from the Cleveland fans.
Dwayne Wade: The guard, in his hometown of Chicago, said he hopes to make a decision on his future this week, adding that his new contract will be about more than just where he plays basketball the next few years.
He met twice with the Bulls last week, had sessions with the Knicks and Nets, and heard from the Heat as well. All have enough salary-cap space to land two top-tier free agents.
"I think that the organizations I've been brought in to meet with are all good organizations," Wade told a Chicago TV station. "And all can add something to my life, and not just basketballwise. I understand that if myself and another guy, and we have some good players around, we'll be good. To me it's about what makes 40 years of my life and not just about the next 10."
Amare Stoudemire: The former Suns forward, who is looking for a max deal of five years and near $100 million, landed in New York for the holiday weekend and will hear a pitch from the Knicks.
David Lee: The five-year veteran forward out of Florida visited with the Timberwolves for nine hours, leaving "really impressed" by the pitch, according to agent Mark Bartelstein. Lee spent the day with team president David Kahn and coach Kurt Rambis, even taking in part of the Rays-Twins baseball game.
Heat: Though Dwyane Wade's decision weighs heaviest, team president Pat Riley went to Charlotte, N.C., to make a pitch to Mavericks center Brendan Haywood. Miami has also pitched the Knicks' Lee and another former Gator and their own power forward, Udonis Haslem, who has received several offers from other teams.
Nowitzki stays with Mavericks
Forward Dirk Nowitzki reached agreement with the Mavs on a four-year contract that will keep him with the only NBA team he has played for, the Dallas Morning News and ESPN websites reported Saturday. Terms were not announced, and no deals are official until Thursday, but it is believed the 12-year veteran will get at least $80 million.
"Yes, we have a deal," Nowitzki adviser Holger Geschwindner told the Morning News. The paper said Nowitzki did not talk seriously with other teams.
ESPN.com reported that Nowitzki's new deal includes a no-trade clause but is less than the max of $96.2 million he could receive because he has said in the past that he would take less if the club promised to use the flexibility to sign another top-tier player.