— Foot Locker (@footlocker) July 2, 2018
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA — Well, “King James” has left his territory of Ohio for the West Coast. According to sources, he’s signed a mega deal with the Lakers.
Sports Illustrated reports that, after months of speculation, LeBron James will sign a four-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, worth $154 million.
Via press release, Klutch Sports Group announced James’ decision.
— Klutch Sports Group (@KlutchSports) July 2, 2018
Per ESPN’s Bobby Marks, James will earn $35.65 million in his first year with Los Angeles, followed by $37.43 million, $39.21 million and $41 million in ensuing seasons.
James posted to his Instagram story:
“Thank you Northeast Ohio for an incredible 4 seasons. This will always be home.”
NOTE: If you don’t know about Instagram stories, this section is different from an actual static post. It’s more similar to Snapchat.
Sports Illustrated reports that James declined to exercise his $35.6 million 2018-19 player option. Technically, he became an unrestricted free agent on Friday, June 29. James had until 11:59 p.m. ET Friday to inform the Cavs of his intentions before the option expired.
So, on July 1, LeBron James bid his Ohio team adieu; he’ll be able to sign the actual deal starting at 12 p.m. ET, July 6.
LeBron’s decision makes the four-time MVP the headliner of a star-studded free-agent class which also includes Paul George, Chris Paul, and DeMarcus Cousins — along with various others.
— ESPNLosAngeles (@ESPNLosAngeles) July 2, 2018
The source mentions James’ last season stats as follows.
“James averaged 27.5 points, a career–high 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds. He led the league in minutes for the second straight year, and he also made the All-NBA First Team for the 11th straight season. James appeared in the NBA Finals for the eighth straight year, where the Cavaliers were swept by the Warriors. James will be entering his 16th season in the league, and he’s spent 11 of those in Cleveland. The 33-year-old went to Miami from 2010–2014, winning two championships with the Heat. He returned to the Cavaliers and won a championship in 2016. James was the Finals MVP for each of his wins.”
GILBERT’S SEND OFF
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ owner, Dan Gilbert, wrote a letter in honor of James’ time with his team.
In the letter, the billionaire describes: “We will always remember the evening of June 19, 2016 as the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, ended the 52-year drought delivering the long-elusive championship that many thought they would never see….a championship that united generations of Clevelanders, both living and passed.”
Gilbert says he has nothing but appreciation and gratitude for James and for the time he’s spent in Cleveland.
NOTE: If you’re interested in the full letter, it’s located here.
So, pretty much, the balance of power in the NBA might shift now that James has left Cleveland. Who will be the next team to “enter the kingdom”? Will the Lakers’ fanbase and dynasty rekindle?
Likewise, do you think he’ll play out the rest of his career with the legendary team of champions?
— Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg) July 2, 2018
All in all, is it possible next year’s Finals will be all “California”? If you have any thoughts about it, feel free to share them via our Facebook page.
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[Featured Photo via Spectrum SportsNet / Twitter]