LeBron is going to Hollywood.
Klutch Sports Group posted a simple media release on its Twitter Sunday evening stating NBA free-agent LeBron James has agreed to a $154 million, four-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.
— Klutch Sports Group (@KlutchSports) July 2, 2018
The sudden announcement shocked the national basketball community as it was said James would not release his next move until this coming Tuesday. However, “The Decision 2.0” was far less painless this time around than when he first departed from the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010 that caused some damage to his image.
Despite the signing announcement, no welcoming conference will be held, nor will any comments be said by James until the opening of a public school that was created by his family’s foundation on July 30 in Akron, Ohio.
With the news flowing throughout social media, the idea of him now in the Western Conference may take a toll on the East as they have lost a significant athlete.
In the last eight years, James has been a key player to the conference. He has given the Miami Heat two NBA Championships and the Cavaliers the first of their franchise, while appearing in four straight appearances to the NBA Finals with Cleveland.
The most surprising feature from the contract, is the length that James has committed to being a Laker. In prior years, he continued a year-to-year contract with the Cavaliers before doing a three-year contract as of late, with a reported player option in the third year.
However, the current deal will hold him to three, true committed years as a Laker and the fourth being another player option.
At age 33 and new talent coming to the league, the challenge of keeping everyone intrigued on a year-by-year basis becomes more strenuous.
Perhaps the Lakers legacy with their 16 NBA titles, just one shy of the Boston Celtics’ 17, can be a focal point in his interest of joining the team. James could now be the star and the leader of the young squad that Magic Johnson has begun to rebuild after taking over in 2017.
Whatever the reason may be for the length of the contract, it seems to be the most fitting for the talented player. Former Laker, Kobe Bryant also congratulated the athlete, along with co-owner Jeanie Buss and Johnson on their new star forward.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) July 2, 2018
Yet with all the news around James’ signing, the Lakers continued to fill its roster with two more athletes.
Moments after the agreement went public, guard Lance Stephenson, another Klutch Sport Group athlete, agreed to sport the iconic purple and gold jersey. Joining Stephenson on a one-year contract is veteran center JaVale McGee.
Las Vegas already has already taken note of the signing of James, raising the Lakers’ odds of winning the 2019 NBA Championship to 7-2, joining the Celtics, but still below the Golden State Warriors at 10-11.