LeBron James didn’t have a televised sit-down special like he did during his first free agent decision, but his recent choice to join the Los Angeles Lakers has received an endless amount of media coverage.
Although it seems as though we’ve all grown accustomed to LeBron’s greatness, it’s important to remember that the 33-year-old four-time MVP and three-time champion averaged 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 9.1 assists in 36.9 minutes per contest this past regular season.
He then put up 34.0 points, 9.1 rebounds and 9.0 assists in 41.9 minutes per game during the playoffs.
After leading the Miami Heat to four-straight Finals and then the Cleveland Cavaliers to the next four, James is taking his talents out west to join a franchise that has won 16 NBA titles, the second-highest total in league history.
Therefore, James’ decision was a huge moment for not only the Cavs and the Lakers, but the NBA as a whole.
On Monday, he officially signed his four-year, $153 million deal with the club.
"The best player in the world"
“Today is a great day for the Lakers organization and Lakers fans all over the world to welcome LeBron James, a three-time NBA Champion and four-time NBA MVP,” said Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson, per ESPN.
“LeBron is special,” Johnson continued. “He is the best player in the world. He loves to compete and is an awesome leader who is about winning and making sure that his teammates are successful. The Lakers players are excited to have a teammate who has been to nine NBA Finals. It’s a huge step closer to returning the Lakers to the playoffs and to the NBA Finals.”
“This is a historic moment for the Lakers, and we could not feel more grateful and honored,” Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said. “When LeBron James – a perennial NBA MVP and champion who is playing at the most astonishing levels of his career – chooses to join the Lakers, it serves as the ultimate validation for what we are building here.”
“However, we all know that the work is not yet done,” Pelinka added. “We will continue forward and do all that is necessary to achieve our shared obsession of bringing banner No. 17 to the world’s best fans – Lakers Nation.”
Now that LeBron is officially signed, the team will likely continue to fine-tune their roster in the hopes of making an immediate run at next year’s title. LA already added Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee via free agency, re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and drafted Moritz Wagner and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk this offseason.
However, some other major moves will likely have to be made in order to stack up against the Golden State Warriors, who will be looking to capture their fourth title in five years.
Nonetheless, it was a splendid day for the historic Lakers franchise.