James agrees to 4-year, US$154m deal with Lakers

Reuters
LeBron James bid farewell to Cleveland on Sunday after agreeing to a four-year, US$154-million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Reuters

Three-time National Basketball Association champion LeBron James bid farewell to Cleveland on Sunday after agreeing to a four-year, US$154-million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 33-year-old forward leaves the Cavaliers to join an iconic franchise that has won 16 NBA titles but is rebuilding after posting a losing record for five consecutive seasons. James bid farewell to Cleveland via his Instagram account.

“Thank you Northeast Ohio for an incredible four seasons,” the four-time NBA most valuable player, and 14-time All Star, said. “This will always be home.”

His agency revealed he was heading for Los Angeles. “LeBron James, four-time NBA MVP, three-time NBA finals MVP, 14-time NBA All Star, and two-time Olympic gold medalist has agreed to a four-year, $154-million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers,” Klutch Sports Group said.

The decision by the game’s best all-round player to leave Ohio for Los Angeles, where he has a home, will make the Lakers an instant contender in the Western Conference where the Golden State Warriors have won three of the last four NBA titles, defeating Cleveland each time.

The other title, for the 2016 season, went to the James’ led Cavaliers. Originally signed by the Cavaliers in 2003, James, who grew up in Akron, left Cleveland in 2010 to join the Miami Heat and led them to four consecutive NBA Finals, winning in 2012 and 2013. He returned home to the Cavaliers the next season and ended a championship drought for Cleveland with the NBA title in 2016.

Speculation about James’ future began in advance of last season with the 76ers and Rockets rumored to be suitors. The Knicks and Clippers were also mentioned but James opted for Los Angeles, now run by former Lakers great Magic Johnson.

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