CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James is signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second time to join one of the NBA’s most iconic franchises.
James’ agency made the announcement Sunday in a release, saying he has agreed to a four-year, $154 million contract. The game’s best all-around player and biggest star will now lead a young Lakers team that has been overmatched in recent years while rebuilding but will instantly rise with James.
Los Angeles also provides James with a larger platform for his business interests and social activism.
James loves the Hollywood lights, and with two homes in the Los Angeles area as well as a film production company, he has already established some roots in the land of movie stars and slow-moving traffic. The appeal of playing for one of the league’s most storied teams is another allure.
“The one thing that I’ve always done is considered, obviously, my family,” James said when asked about his upcoming free agency after losing to the Warriors in the NBA Finals. “Understanding especially where my boys are at this point in their age. They were a lot younger the last time I made a decision like this four years ago. I’ve got a teenage boy, a pre-teen and a little girl that wasn’t around as well.
“So sitting down and considering everything, my family is a huge part of whatever I’ll decide to do in my career, and it will continue to be that.”
This is the third time in eight years James has changed teams. He returned to the Cavs in 2014 after four seasons in Miami.
The 33-year-old had previously said he wanted to finish his career in Ohio, and although he’s leaving home again, Cleveland fans are more forgiving after he ended the city’s 52-year sports championship drought in 2016.