LOS ANGELES: LeBron James made his seismic move to the Los Angeles Lakers official on Monday when the three-time NBA champion posted a photo of himself smiling alongside his freshly-signed four-year, $154 million contract.
The news of the contract signing, like the July 1 announcement the 33-year-old would part ways with the Cleveland Cavaliers for Los Angeles, was announced on Twitter by Klutch Sports, the agency that represents James.
The photo showed the four-time MVP smiling alongside Klutch Sports’ founder Rich Paul and Lakers GM Rob Pelinka.
“This is a great day for the Lakers organization and Lakers fans all over the world to welcome LeBron James,” team president of basketball operations Magic Johnson said in a statement on Monday.
“LeBron James 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,” said the former Lakers great, who was instrumental in landing James.
“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.”
The signing kicks off the “LAbron” era in Tinsletown as the world’s best all-around player begins work restoring the storied Lakers franchise to glory.
The Lakers, who dominated the NBA in the 1980s behind the brilliance of Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and again in the early 2000s with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, have missed the playoffs the last five seasons.
James will join a promising but unproven core of young players including 20-year-old Lonzo Ball, 22-year-old Kyle Kuzma and 23-year-Josh Hart.
But Johnson has elected to round out the roster with veterans including point guard Rajon Rondo, small forward and shooting guard Lance Stephenson and twice NBA champion Javale McGee, all of who have agreed to one-year contracts.