The Los Angeles Lakers on Monday afternoon finally officially inked All-Star forward LeBron James to a four-year, $153 million deal.
It is a monumental move that brings aboard arguably the game’s best player to one of the league’s most historic franchises with the chance to change the fortunes of the organization. It is something that Magic Johnson, who is the team president of basketball operations, has made clear in the press release for the signing.
“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 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.”
James will immediately step in as the centerpiece of the franchise that could quickly put them on the fast track to snapping the longest playoff drought in team history that is currently at five straight seasons. He is coming off a highly productive 15th campaign where he earned much consideration for the NBA MVP award that saw him finish averaging 27.5 points on 54.2 percent shooting from the field along with a career-best 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds per contest.
“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.”
This has brought forth an entirely new level of excitement around the franchise that has been lacking for quite some time in what has become a much-anticipated 2018-19 campaign for the Lakers.