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LeBron James puts pen to paper on £115m Los Angeles Lakers deal

10 July 2018

To hear Philadelphia 76ers managing partner Josh Harris tell it, LeBron James nearly came to the City of Brotherly Love instead of joining the Los Angeles Lakers.

James' teams have advanced to the NBA Finals in eight consecutive seasons, including last month when he and the Cleveland Cavaliers were defeated by the Golden State Warriors for the third time in four seasons. LeBron's signing further stacks the Western Conference and puts the Lakers back into the national spotlight, but the roster around him is not going to threaten Golden State or Houston as now constructed.

LeBron gave the Lakers four years, which gives Magic/Pelinka time to get that star without overpaying (for example, sending all their good young players to San Antonio now for Kawhi Leonard).

He was the ultimate prize this offseason as a three-time champion, four-time league MVP, three-time NBA Finals MVP, 14-time All-NBA member and 14-time All-Star, and he will now be tasked with leading the Lakers to the playoffs for the first time since the 2012-13 campaign.

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Last season, James averaged 27.5 points, 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds and led the Cleveland Cavaliers to their 4th straight finals appearance since his return in 2014.

"This is a historic moment for the Lakers and we could not feel more grateful and honored", Pelinka said. While no progress has been made, the Lakers may look significantly different come the 2018-19 National Basketball Association season opener.

And we, happily, all know how that turned out. To that, Magic and GM Rob Pelinka have added Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and JaVale McGee. The Lakers have won 11 championships while based in Los Angeles since 1960-61, adding to the five they won when they called Minneapolis home.

But Blaze Pizza - the growing pizza chain in which James is an investor - announced a three-hour pizza giveaway on Tuesday to welcome James to LA.

LeBron James puts pen to paper on £115m Los Angeles Lakers deal