Kobe Bryant welcomes LeBron James to the Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers v Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James' free agency decision was always going to be the biggest story of the year in the NBA and it hasn't disappointed. 

The 33-year-old stunned the NBA world when it was announced that he would be signing a four-year, $154 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. 

The news sent social media into a frenzy and fans in LA into pure jubilation and ecstasy. 

It was rumoured for the last 12 months that James would make the move to the City of Angels but until free agency officially opened on Sunday, it was largely unclear what he was going to do regarding his future. 

Joining an illustrious list

LeBron will become the latest in a long line of greats to don the Purple and Gold uniform.

Immediately after the news broke, the four-time MVP was welcomed to the Lakers by a true franchise legend. 

Kobe Bryant took to Twitter to react to the news and had a special message for King James.

When he was contacted by ESPN's Ramona Shelburne for an instant reaction, he simply said: "I LOVE IT."

The former Lakers star also reserved special praise for owner Jeanie Buss, president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka for securing the best player in the world.

Buss made a huge personal decision in 2017 when she overhauled the team's front office by firing her brother Jim Buss and former GM Mitch Kupchak to bring in Johnson and Pelinka. 

It's now clear that she made the correct choice as the presence of Magic in the Lakers organisation ultimately played a huge role in LeBron joining. 

Los Angeles Lakers Media Day

The influence of Magic

According to Shelburne, the Hall of Famer went to the 13-time All-Star's home in Los Angeles and they reportedly spoke for hours. 

LBJ was always strongly considering the move but needed to have trust in Magic and believe in the project that's being built by the organisation. 

Johnson certainly said all the right words as he closed the deal and delivered the best free agent on the market for the Lakers. 

LeBron will now look to bring the team back to its former glory and make them successful once again. 

Depending on who else the California-based outfit is able to acquire this offseason, the minimum objective will be to return to the playoffs. 

Los Angeles Lakers v Cleveland Cavaliers

They have now gone five consecutive seasons without competing in the postseason - the longest drought in franchise history. 

But everybody can focus on goals once the roster is complete and they convene for training camp in September.

For now, though, Lakers fans deserve to enjoy this moment as they bask in the realisation that they'll be watching the league's best player showcase his talents at Staples Center every night.

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