LA Gone: LeBron agrees to join Lakers

James leaves $52 million on the table to bolt Cavs

Daryl Ruiter
July 01, 2018 - 8:19 pm

© Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – That was quick.

Decision 3.0 didn’t come in a TV show or an essay. It was a simple tweet from his agency.

LeBron James is headed to Los Angeles where he will become a Laker when he is allowed to sign a contract on Friday, July 6.

Klutch Sports, the firm that represents James, led by agent Rich Paul, announced James’ decision to leave the Cavaliers for a 4-year, $154 million contract with the Lakers Sunday evening in a press release attached to a tweet.

The announcement was direct and to the point: “LeBron James, four time NBA MVP, three time NBA finals MVP, fourteen time All Star and two time Olympic Gold medalist has agreed to a four year, $154 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.”

That was it.

A few minutes after the press release, James posted a 3-part slide on his verified Instagram story beginning with a black and white photo from the 2016 NBA championship parade with the text “Thank you Northeast Ohio for an incredible 4 seasons. This will always be home,” followed 2 more slides touting his ‘I Promise School’ set to open at the end of the month in Akron, Ohio.

James could’ve signed for 5-years and $206 million with Cleveland, also known as a supermax contract, but opted to leave an extra year and extra money on the table.

James fulfilled his promise laid out in his essay with Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins to bring “at least one trophy back to northeast Ohio” in 2016 when he helped lead the Cavs back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals to beat Golden State.

In 2015, his return season after head coach David Blatt was fired 41 games into the season, James led the Cavs back to the NBA Finals, but the team was without All-Stars Kevin Love, who suffered a dislocated shoulder in the opening round of the playoffs against Boston, and Kyrie Irving, who broke his kneecap against Golden State. The Warriors prevailed in 6 games, despite James' heroics in the series. 

Kevin Durant’s decision to join the 73-win Warriors in 2016 altered the NBA landscape and led to back to back titles at James and the Cavs expense. Throw in Irving’s desire to be traded after he found out his name surfaced in trade discussions – and the Cavs dealing him to Boston – altered James’ destiny.