Late Friday night/Early Saturday morning (depending on where you live), the 2018 NBA Free Agency commenced. The highlight of this free agency was where LeBron James would end up or if he would stay in Cleveland.
Throughout the season, several team names besides the Cavaliers came up as potential landing spots. Those most mentioned included Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, and Philadelphia 76ers.
At 5:05 PM CST, those waiting for James’ signing, needed to wait any longer. In a release from Klutch Sports Group, it stated, “LeBron James, four time NBA MVP, three time NBA Finals MVP, fourteen time NBA All Star, and two time Olympic gold medalist has agreed to a four year, $154 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.
This move marks his 3rd team of his NBA career and his first time playing in the NBA’s Western Conference. James played in Cleveland from 2003 to 2010 and again in 2014 through 2018. In between those two Cleveland stints, he created the modern-day “Big Three” with Heat’s Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.
Leaving the Cavs for a second time was not an easy move for LeBron but was accepted and understood compared to the first time he left in 2010. After much heat from his response in 2010, Dan Gilbert addressed LeBron James and the Cleveland fan base in a sincere way.
“I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE” -Gilbert in his 2010
Gilbert in a statement release late Sunday night shared his greatest memory of James’ second stint with his hometown team. In the final paragraph, Gilbert said, “LeBron, you came home and delivered the ultimate goal. Nothing but appreciation and gratitude for everything you put into every moment you spent in a Cavaliers uniform. We look forward to the retirement of the famous #23 Cavs jersey one day down the line…”
For Dan Gilbert’s full statement visit: http://www.nba.com/cavaliers/news/releases/statement-180702
To no surprise, Twitter and Instagram was drowned by Lakers’ players, former Lakers’ stars, and other celebrities welcoming LeBron to LA.
Lakers’ Legends Speak
New Lakers’ Teammates Responses
Kyle Kuzma shared a couple.
Lonzo Ball even dropped a tweet welcoming LBJ.
The Lakers’ newest rookie, Moe Wagner, is even joining in with a tweet.
LeBron James has done just about everything you can do in the NBA. His 15 year dominance of the Eastern Conference was longer challenging. Joining the Lakers give him a new challenge of getting past team like Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, and Oklahoma City Thunder. James has a huge task at hand but he has never shied away from a challenge. James is coming of his best statistical season of his 15 year career. He will look to carry that into Year 16-19 to help his new team. Over the next four seasons, James has the opportunity to break several records, bring championships to L.A., and ultimately establish himself as a Lakers’ Legend.