Los Angeles, California, USA: LeBron James is signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second time to join one of the NBA’s most iconic franchises, James’ agency announced on Sunday, saying he has agreed to a four-year, $154 million contract
“LeBron James, four time NBA MVP, three time NBA finals MVP, fourteen time NBA All Star, and two time Olympic gold medalist has agreed to a four year, $154 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.” the release said.
The game’s best all-around player and biggest star will now lead a young Lakers team that has been overmatched in recent years while rebuilding but will instantly rise with James.
For the second time in his career, James is saying goodbye to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who drafted the teenage sensation from Akron in 2003 and have to be satisfied with winning just one title in the 11 years they had him.
Unlike his two previous forays in free agency, James did not drag out his decision and made the announcement less than 24 hours after NBA free agency opened.
This Summer of LeBron was barely a fling.
The game’s biggest star will now lead a young Lakers team — run by Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson — that has been overmatched in recent years while rebuilding. But the Lakers will instantly rise with James, a three-time champion who after being swept by the Warriors in this year’s NBA Finals said he is still driven and very much in “championship mode.”
Los Angeles will also provide James with a larger platform for his business interests and social activism. He already owns two homes in Southern California and has a film production company.
This is the third time in eight years James has changed teams. After bolting from Cleveland in 2010, he returned in an emotional homecoming four years later, determined to make the Cavs champions. The 33-year-old had previously said he wanted to finish his career in Ohio, and although he’s leaving again, Cavs fans are more forgiving after he ended the city’s 52-year sport title drought in 2016.
Hollywood, current and former Lakers stars rolled out the red carpet to welcome LeBron James to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday following the announcement that the NBA superstar had signed a four-year contract with the one-time championship team.
Welcome to the family @KingJames #lakers4life #striveforgreatness @JeanieBuss @MagicJohnson and RP well done!!! ???????? — Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant).
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).
YES Thank you @KingJames Welcome to LA ! Congratulations to the @Lakers Owners @MagicJohnson and his Front Office and all of LakersNation — Rick Fox (@RickFox).
“This is so exciting that you are coming to the city of stars,” Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a video post. “You, without any doubt, are going to be the biggest star of all, on and off the court.” Welcome, @KingJames. — Arnold (@Schwarzenegger)
Welcome home @KingJames ???? — Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg).
Lakers got LeBron, congratulations LA & Congratulations Magic Johnson remember when Dick Stain Dan LeBaTard questioned if Magic was “qualified” for the job?The DickStainDan who’s Father is on TV daily? Fire Yourself & Fire Poppy NOW. You know Jack S*** @LeBatardShow @Stugotz790 — MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport).
There is a God! Must be Magic! #happydaysarehereagain — Ice Cube (@icecube).
YESSSSSS!!!! @Lakers #LA — Mario Lopez (@MarioLopezExtra)
Welcome to LA, Mr. James. @KingJames @Lakers — Larry King (@kingsthings).
Ummmmm. Greatest news ever? #Lakers #NBA #TeamTouch — Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano).
Honestly, this LeBron news is the best birthday present my husband could have possibly gotten.— Busy Philipps (@BusyPhilipps).
BREAKING NOW!!!!!!!!LEBRON TO THE LAKERS 4 YEAR CONTRACT. — Norm Macdonald (@normmacdonald).
WOWZERS!! Just left a VICTORIOUS game for my @la_sparks and just found out @magicjohnson got us da KING @kingjames to sign to @lakers WHAT?? Getting my season seats NOW!! #LifeIsGood… — Vivica A. Fox (@MsVivicaFox).
The feel-good story would’ve been LeBron finishing his career in Cleveland. I feel sorry for all the great Cavs fans. But LeBron was born to be a Laker playing for the original LeBron, Magic Johnson. Can’t fault LeBron for finishing his career in Hollywood. #StriveForDrama — Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless).
cc: @IngrahamAngle he’s still dribbling but thankfully he’s not shutting up. — Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin).