LeBron signs Lakers contract making move to Los Angeles official

4-year deal worth over $153 million

Daryl Ruiter
July 09, 2018 - 8:14 pm
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) leaves the floor after game four of the 2018 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – LeBron James did not have a change of heart.

James signed a 4-year, $153 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers Monday making his move west official. 

Klutch Sports, which represents the 4-time NBA MVP, announced the completed contract Monday evening.

“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,” Lakers president of basketball operations Earvin “Magic” Johnson said in the team's release. “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' originally agreed to join the Lakers on July 1 that was announced by Klutch Sports in a simple statement that was released around 8 p.m. eastern as the former Cavalier left for a vacation in Italy.

The news of James' departure wasn't nearly as shocking as it was in 2010 as rumors of his deep interest in joining the Lakers grew during the final week of June.

After returning to the Cavaliers in 2014, James led the team to the NBA Finals for 4 straight seasons, including the 2016 NBA championship that saw the club mount an historic comeback from down 3-1 to Golden State, ending Cleveland's 52-year championship drought. 

It could be argued that the end for James in Cleveland began last summer when general manager David Griffin was not retained by owner Dan Gilbert and Kyrie Irving's trade request was granted when the All-Star guard, who hit the biggest shot in franchise history, was dealt to conference rival Boston in August.

Despite a complete roster shakeup that included 3 trades, 4 new Cavaliers acquired and 6 players sent away, James was still able to carry the Cavs to a fourth consecutive Eastern Conference title before being swept in 4 games by Golden State.

Nike quickly had the 10-story banner of James removed from the side of the Sherwin Williams building across from Quicken Loans Arena removed on July 3.