After months of speculation and a short time spent in the “decision cave”, LeBron James decided to take his talents to Los Angeles and rock the purple and gold. James signed a four year deal for $153 million, taking another star out of the Eastern Conference. Magic Johnson put his money where his mouth was, signing the best player in the world to a max contract, allowing him to avoid his take about quitting if he could not land a big free agent.
James had plenty of options to choose from. The bright lights in LA, the talented youth corps in Philadelphia, or staying home in Cleveland. It was initially reported that the announcement would not come until Tuesday morning by James’ admirer Nick Wright, but Woj dropped the biggest of all Woj bombs Sunday night.
The signing brings LeBron to a team with a talented group of young players, including Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma. Looks like Lavar Ball was right, everyone wants to play with Zo.
LeBron’s decision undoubtedly sends a massive shockwave across the entire NBA. It was easily going to be the biggest headline of the offseason, until DeMarcus Cousins shocked the world possibly dethroning KD as the biggest heel in the league. Some of our other writers will tackle Boogie’s move later, but for now let’s focus on the king. Since we’ve had some time to breathe since LeBron made his announcement, let’s look break down the move and what it means for the NBA.
More Superstars in LA?
With their numerous other free agent signings including Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo, the Lakers do not have enough cap space to sign another max contract free agent this offseason. Though LA now has a roster full of some of the strangest characters in the NBA, LeBron is going to need another star to work his way through a Western Conference that just saw the Warriors collect their fifth all star completing the starting lineup.
Enter Kawhi Leonard.
The idea of pairing up with another supreme talent in the future is incredibly tempting for James, who has not had that opportunity since he left Miami. Leonard is particularly attractive widely considered one of the best two way players in the NBA. It’s probably a key reason why he even chose LA in the first place.
After the lack of starpower surrounding him in Cleveland last season, James would be more than welcome to adding another star to the roster not named Kevin Love. By signing a 4 year deal, James showed a commitment to LA that he had not shown recently in Cleveland, as he signed multiple two year deals with a player option after the first season.
DeMarcus Cousins ended any possibility of joining the Lakers this offseason by signing with the Golden State Warriors for $5.3 million for one season (yes you read that right). While there is still the possibility of Cousins signing with LA next offseason, who knows whether Laker fans will be able to forgive him for further strengthening a superteam.
Without another supreme talent on the roster, there is no chance that the Lakers will dethrone the Warriors in the Western Conference with their starting lineup of five all stars.
James is continuing his career on his own terms, accepting the fact his consecutive streak of eight straight finals appearances will most likely end. For the first time in his career, James will be playing in one of the two biggest media markets in professional sports. As the best player in the world, he can dominate the media anywhere, but LA gives him an opportunity to expand his brand even further.
Not only will James get to play for one of the most storied franchises in NBA history, but he will also get to live his life in Hollywood the center of American entertainment. He’s already starred in a few movies and commercials all while spending most of his time in Cleveland. When it comes time for James to figure out life beyond basketball, he’ll have no shortage of options in the City of Angels.
Life beyond basketball also includes LeBron’s family. James is a very family oriented man and there had been rumors swirling around before the signing about where his son Bronny would play high school basketball. It’s been rumored that Bronny will be playing at Sierra Canyon High School with Kenyon Martin Jr and Scottie Pippen Jr, safe to say that no one will want to face that high school superteam.
Whether you agree with his decision or not, James did what he felt was best for his family and basketball future, and you can never hate on that.