The Los Angeles Lakers have officially signed perennial all-star LeBron James to a four-year, $154 million contract.
The signing comes eight days after the agency representing the four-time NBA MVP announced that he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to play for one of professional sports’ most successful franchises.
“[July 9] 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,’’ Lakers president of Basketball Operations Earvin “Magic’’ Johnson.
“LeBron is special. 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.’’
Per team policy, the Lakers did not release terms of the contract.
James joins a team that has missed the playoffs a team-record five consecutive seasons. However, its 35 victories during the 2017-18 season were its most since the 2012-13 season, the most recent time they made the playoffs.
“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. 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.’’
James joins the Lakers after a four-season stint with Cleveland, who he led to the NBA Finals each season, winning the championship in 2016.