(Reuters) – Three-time NBA champion LeBron James has agreed to a four-year $154 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, his agency said yesterday.
The 33-year-old forward leaves the Cleveland Cavaliers to join an iconic franchise that has won 16 NBA titles but is rebuilding after posting a losing record for five consecutive seasons.
The decision by the game’s best all-around player to leave his native Ohio for Los Angeles, where he has a home, will make the Lakers an instant contender in the Western Conference where the Golden State Warriors have won three of the last four NBA titles, defeating Cleveland each time.
The other title, for the 2016 season, went to the James’ led Cavaliers. Originally signed by the Cavaliers in 2003, James, who grew up in Akron, left Cleveland in 2010 to join the Miami Heat and led them to four consecutive NBA Finals, winning in 2012 and 2013. He returned home to the Cavaliers the next season and ended a long championship drought for Cleveland with the NBA title in 2016.