LeBron James is to join the Los Angeles Lakers in a four-year US$154 million deal, his agents said on Sunday, ending months of frenzied speculation about the NBA superstar’s next career move.
The blockbuster contract sends the 33-year-old four-time NBA Most Valuable Player to one of the league’s most iconic clubs, adding to the legacy of such legends as Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson.
James is considered a rival of retired Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan for the title of greatest player in NBA history, but he had endured frustration with the Cleveland Cavaliers, culminating in last month’s clean sweep defeat to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
James and the Cavaliers have been beaten in three out of four NBA Finals against the Warriors since 2015.
James had been linked to several franchises, with the Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets reportedly in the running.
US media reports said the Lakers move was sealed following a meeting late on Saturday between James and the team’s president of basketball operations, Magic Johnson.
James, who has a home and production company in Los Angeles, now joins a club with money to spend and a desire to rebuild into a championship team.
The Lakers have failed to reach the playoffs for the past five seasons.
News of James’ arrival at the Lakers sparked a delighted response, with basketball legends and Hollywood celebrities lining up to welcome the move.
“Welcome to the family,” Lakers legend Kobe Bryant wrote on Twitter.
“I am sure the Lakernation is rejoicing. The acquisition of LeBron James means that the Lakers are just a smidgen away from being real contenders,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar added.
Former Hollywood action hero and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger also weighed in.
“It’s so exciting that you’re coming to the city of stars,” Schwarzenegger said.
James, a two-time Olympic champion, left Cleveland before in 2010 for the Miami Heat, where he reached the NBA Finals four times, going 2-2, before departing for the Cavaliers, vowing to bring a title to Cleveland, his home region having grown up in nearby Akron.
That mission was accomplished when the Cavaliers won the 2016 crown with James in the starring role.
James informed the Cavaliers on Friday that he would not exercise his US$35.6 million contract option, snubbing a five-year US$209 million contract, but money and years of security were less a concern than being able to play for title contenders.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
TAIWANESE TO PLAY: Jason Jung faces Frederico Coria in the men’s singles first round today, while in the women’s singles, Hsieh Su-wei is to take on Barbara Haas Novak Djokovic is to renew his love-hate relationship with Roland Garros in the knowledge that it is himself rather than seemingly unsettled 12-time champion Rafael Nadal who could pose the greatest threat to winning a second Paris title and 18th Grand Slam crown. The only man to beat Djokovic this year is Djokovic after the Serb’s hair-trigger temper prompted a sensational disqualification from the US Open. The 33-year-old arrives in the French capital with a 31-1 record this year after his New York brain-fade was followed by a record 36th Masters title in Rome. Djokovic’s 2016 triumph at Roland Garros allowed him to
Taiwan’s Jason Jung was knocked out of the first round of the French Open in straight sets on Sunday, while Andy Murray said it was going to be “difficult” for the former world No. 1 to reach his level of old after he also fell to a lopsided defeat by fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka. Jung fell to a 7-5, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/3) defeat to Argentina’s Federico Coria in 3 hours, 19 minutes at Roland Garros, despite hitting 55 winners. Jung served for both the first and second sets, then failed to convert two set points at 5-4 in
Michael Schumacher’s son Mick said that the prospect of Lewis Hamilton equaling the Ferrari great’s all-time record of 91 wins has given him something to aim for when he gets to Formula One. Hamilton, who replaced Michael Schumacher at Mercedes in 2013, can take his 91st victory in today’s Russian Grand Prix in Sochi — a race he has won four times previously. “One sentence my dad always used to say was: ‘Records are there to be broken.’ It’s everybody’s aim in this sport to do that,” Formula Two championship leader Mick Schumacher said on Friday. “I think Lewis had a very, very