LeBron James’ next NBA chapter will be set in the West Coast.
James will be playing for the Los Angeles Lakers on a four-year, $153.3 million contract. James will try to bring the storied franchise another championship.
The announcement was made through his agency, Klutch Sports Group, which announced the deal as $154 million.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reports that the fourth year is a player option. It’s the longest deal James has signed since inking a six-year deal with the Heat in 2010. His previous three deals were all three years or shorter.
James leaves his hometown team as a free agent for a second time in his career. Four years ago, James had stated his intention to finish his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers. But whether the four-time MVP and 14-time All Star does that or not, he certainly left his mark in his city.
James thanked his home area in an Instagram story. Saying 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 it 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. James leaves the franchise as its leader in nearly every major statistical category: games played, points, rebounds, assists and steals. And if 2017-18 was his final act in Cleveland, what a show he put on, playing in all 82 games for the first time in his 15-year career and capping that off with a postseason performance as personally dominant as any playoff run he’s ever been a part of.
James will become the first player in NBA history to lead a postseason in scoring and then switch teams the following offseason.
He’ll join the illustrious list of NBA legends to play for Lakers — some of whom are already welcoming James to the family. NBA players around the league reacted, too.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) July 2, 2018
I am sure the Lakernation is rejoicing The acquisition of LeBron James means that the Lakers are just a smidgen away from being real contenders. Congrats to @MagicJohnson & @LALakersLive et al. Cross your fingers for news from San Antonio.
— Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (@kaj33) July 2, 2018
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SOURCE: ESPN, Ohm Youngmisuk