With all the soccer hype surrounding the world cup there is one story off the court that basketball fans were waiting for. Where will we see LeBron James next season? well, the wait is over. The world’s greatest basketball player and one of the sport’s premier franchises are joining forces. After a five-year playoff drought, the Lakers are back, planning to make a run at the two-time defending champion Warriors and add to their already illustrious history.
And they now have LeBron James — the one player who has toppled the Bay Area dynasty — on their side.
James’ agency, Klutch Sports, announced the NBA-shattering news early Sunday night in a press release, that James was leaving his hometown Cavaliers for the second time and will sign a four-year deal worth $154 million, the maximum allowed. He does have an opt-out after the third year, ESPN reported, and will make $35.65 million his first year, $37.43 million his second, $39.21 million his third and $41 million his fourth — provided he doesn’t opt out.
James left money on the table to go to Los Angeles — Cleveland could have offered him $207 million over five years — and the better team in the on-the-rise 76ers. Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson was at one of James’s homes in Los Angeles on Saturday night and met with him for several hours, ESPN reported, rather than being at the team facility for scheduled free-agent calls.
James posted to his Instagram story: “Thank you Northeast Ohio for an incredible 4 seasons. This will always be home.”