It’s official! Lebron James join the Lakers on a 4-year deal worth around $153 million contract. The announcement was made through his agency, Klutch Sports Group, which announced the deal as $154 million. The deal came two days after informing Cleveland he’s opting out of his deal. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that the fourth year is a player option. It’s the longest deal James has signed since inking a six-year contract with the Miami Heat in 2010. His previous three deals were three years or shorter. James leaves his hometown team as a free agent for the second time in his career. Four years ago, James had stated his intention to finish his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Whether the four-time MVP and 14-time All-Star does that or not, he certainly has left his mark on his city.
James thanked his home area in an Instagram story. He wrote in text overlaying a photo from the Cavaliers’ 2016 NBA title victory parade, “Thank you Northeast Ohio for an incredible 4 seasons. This will always be home.” He delivered the first championship to the sports-obsessed city in 52 years and did so with storybook gusto, helping the Cavaliers become the first team in NBA Finals history to rally from a 3-1 series deficit to win it all. The team he took down, the Golden State Warriors, had the best regular-season record in league history, at 73-9. “Words do not express the meaning and the feeling this accomplishment brought to the people of Northeast Ohio,” Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said in a lengthy statement thanking James. “None of this would have happened if LeBron James did not agree to come back home and lead the Cavaliers to the promised land.
“LeBron is a family man, first. We wish his kids, his wife, Savannah, his mother, Gloria, and LeBron himself nothing but the best in the years and decades ahead. LeBron’s connection to Akron, Cleveland and all of Northeast Ohio will most certainly endure as his commitment to the region and his support of many important causes has been impactful to so many kids and families. “LeBron, you came home and delivered the ultimate goal. Nothing but appreciation and gratitude for everything you put into every moment you spent in a Cavaliers uniform. We look forward to the retirement of the famous #23 Cavs jersey one day down the line …” James leaves the Cavaliers franchise as its leader in nearly every major statistical category: games played, points, rebounds, assists and steals.
When Lebron landed in Los Angeles after his vacation, it felt like he would sign with the Lakers. Let’s face it, Magic Johnson can sell damn near anything to anybody. With the addition of Lebron, some are skeptical on how the team will perform with Lebron. Since Lebron has signed, the Lakers have signed JaVale McGee, Lance Stephenson and re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. If the Lakers don’t come up with a deal for Kawhi Leonard, this could still be the fourth or fifth best team out West. When you put Lebron with Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle and Lonzo Ball, this is a good team. We can all expect the stars to be at the first game at home in Los Angeles.