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LeBron James: Basketball star agrees to join Los Angeles Lakers
02 July 2018, 10:31 | Anna Jefferson
NBA: LeBron James leaves Cavs to join Lakers in four-year, $154 million deal
He played in all 82 regular-season games and single-handedly took them to the National Basketball Association finals, where they were beaten, for the third time in four years, by the Golden State Warriors.
U.S. media reports said the Lakers move was sealed following a meeting late Saturday between James and the team's president of basketball operations, Magic Johnson.
But after 15 years in the NBA, James didn't need much convincing nor elaborate proposals.
English comedian James Corden, now working in the U.S., posted a amusing Photoshopped picture of him and James calmly walking away from a burning vehicle, with the caption: "Me and @KingJames walking into LA".
The signing also means James will have to interact with the Ball family at some point in the next four years. Though the contract includes a player-option on the fourth year, James will be donning the purple and gold for at least three seasons.
Preorders for new Lakers LeBron James jerseys were robust enough on Sunday night to give retailer Fanatics one of its top 10 sales days in terms of National Basketball Association gear sold, a spokesman for the company told ESPN. He scored 1.2 points per possession in transition for the Cavaliers last season and will nearly certainly bolster a Los Angeles squad that ranked below average (22nd) in transition efficiency in 2017-18. He also led the Cavs to a championship during the 2016 season, ending a 52-year title drought for the city.
But the Warriors obtained Kevin Durant after that loss and Golden State has gone 8-1 against the Cavs in the two NBA Finals since.
Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant. It would make James the best ever to play the game.
Everyone in Los Angeles appears ecstatic for James to be joining the team.
James and Stephenson are teammates now. He already owns two homes in Southern California and has a film production company. "The odds have been stacked up against me since I was an adolescent", James said at this year's NBA Finals.
"Thank you Northeast Ohio for an incredible four seasons, " James wrote. "This will always be home", James posted on Instagram with a photo of the Cavaliers' championship parade.
The move is a major success for the Lakers, who have had trouble attracting big-name free agents in recent years.
Under normal circumstances, it could be troubling to sign a 33-year-old to a four-year contract, but there is nothing normal about LeBron.
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But the 33-year-old has interests beyond basketball and the massive Los Angeles market would give him a bigger stage and platform. The Los Angeles Lakers have recovered nicely from the start of free agency by managing to win the LeBron James Sweepstakes .
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