Basketball superstar LeBron James has left the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the LA Lakers on a four-year contract worth a reported $154m. The three-time NBA champion, widely regarded as the sport’s greatest player, moves to the Lakers having become a free agent on 1st July.
James’s free agency had dominated headlines during the season, and the official announcement came on Sunday night via a tweet from his management company, Klutch Sports group, which read: “LeBron James, four-time NBA MVP, three-time NBA finals MVP, fourteen-time NBA All Star, and two-time Olympic gold medallist has agreed to a four year, $154 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.”
Speaking on his departure James said: “Thank you Northeast Ohio for an incredible four seasons, this will always be home.” This is the second time James, 33, has left his hometown team having originally been drafted by Cleveland with the number one pick in 2003.
After being named the NBA’s most valuable player in 2009, James controversially moved to Miami in 2010. He won his first championship in 2012 and added a second the following year.
In 2014, James decided to opt out of the final two years of his Miami contract and return to Cleveland. James’s return coincided with Cleveland’s return to finals, helping the Cavalier’s to their first NBA title in 2016, ending the city’s 52-year wait for a major sporting title.
With Miami and Cleveland, James has appeared in eight consecutive finals series. The Lakers will be hoping the signing of James can elevate the franchise back into championship contention, having missed the play-offs for five consecutive seasons, the longest run in their history.
Author: Harry Diamond | LinkedIn
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