NBA: LeBron James joins the LA Lakers - reactions
‘King’ James leaves Cleveland after leading Cavaliers to ‘the promised land’
NBA star LeBron James has signed a four-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The 33-year-old ended his second spell with the Cleveland Cavaliers after becoming a free agent on 1 July. The three-time NBA champion has penned a contract worth $154m (£116m) over four years with the Lakers.
James’s move was announced on Twitter via his agent Rich Paul and the Klutch Sports Group. The BBC reports that James thanked Cavs fans for their support. In a post on Instagram, James said: “Thank you Northeast Ohio for an incredible four seasons. This will always be home.”
The 14-time NBA All-Star started his career with Cleveland in 2003 before moving to the Miami Heat in 2010. After winning two NBA titles with the Heat - in 2012 and 2013 - he returned to Cleveland and led them to their first championship in 2016.
Career highlights include being named the NBA Finals most valuable player (MVP) three times (2012, 2013 and 2016) and the NBA’s MVP four times (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013). He also won Olympic gold medals with the US team in Beijing in 2008 and in London in 2012.
Quoted by ESPN, Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert paid tribute to James for leading the franchise to the “promised land”. In a statement Gilbert said: “Words do not express the meaning and the feeling this accomplishment brought to the people of Northeast Ohio. None of this would have happened if LeBron James did not agree to come back home and lead the Cavaliers to the promised land.
“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…”