Now it is official - LeBron has signed with the Lakers.
The photo showed the four-time MVP smiling alongside Klutch Sports' founder Rich Paul and Lakers GM Rob Pelinka. "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 NBA superstar recently signed a four-year, $154 million contract to play for the Lakers. "It's a huge step closer to the playoffs and to the NBA Finals". It may seem silly to count that, but coaching James brings a very different dynamic to a job that's hard enough for National Basketball Association coaches. Now, the pressure's on Pelinka and the Lakers to give him the supporting cast he needs.
Last season, James averaged 27.5 points, 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds and led the Cleveland Cavaliers to their 4th straight finals appearance since his return in 2014.
"This is a historic moment for the Lakers, and we could not feel more grateful and honored", Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said. LeBron's signing further stacks the Western Conference and puts the Lakers back into the national spotlight, but the roster around him is not going to threaten Golden State or Houston as now constructed.
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"However, we all know that the work is not yet done". Last season was his first in which he played in all 82 regular-season games, and the eighth in a row in which his team advanced to the Eastern Conference finals (four in Miami before each of the last four seasons in Cleveland).
Kobe's time away from the game coupled with being 39 years old isn't a good combination for a guy trying to get back the magic he once had for one final season.
James also won Olympic gold medals in 2008 at Beijing and 2012 at London.