LeBron James has joined the Los Angeles Lakers for a four-year, $154 million deal. I apologize to any Cavs fans, although this may not come as much of a surprise. Cavs fans were fired up after the 2010 LeBron departure to Miami. Now that LeBron fulfilled his promise of a championship to Cleveland, media and fans are more accepting of his most recent departure to the Lakers.
What was behind LeBron’s decision? It is seemingly a lot different from his 2010 decision to go to the Heat and his 2014 decision to return to the Cavs. He went to Miami in 2010 to win championships. He went where there was All-Star talent, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. They ended up winning two championships. LeBron then decided to return to Cleveland and promised to bring a title to Ohio. That is exactly what he did in 2016. His image has improved as a result, at least in Cleveland. There are many reasons why the 2018 decision is much different.
Obviously, LeBron wants to win. He believes he can do that in LA. This is unlike the 2010 decision though, there isn’t the talent in LA, at least not yet. The Lakers have missed the playoffs for five consecutive seasons. Is more talent joining LeBron in LA? Yes. The Lakers also agreed to one-year deals with JaVale McGee, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Lance Stephenson. It is possible that they are recruiting more talent, Kawhi Leonard and DeMarcus Cousins are on the list. And they may need it.
He is there to win, but Los Angeles is where LeBron wants to be. He has two houses and a movie production company in LA. Maybe this is where he wants to end up, and maybe he will be getting into another business here soon. This is also a great place for his family to develop, and for his son to play basketball.
Magic Johnson, president of basketball operations for the Lakers, was one of the masterminds behind LeBron wearing the purple and gold. LeBron will be joining a long list of history in LA, including Magic and Kobe. There is a lot of potential for the Lakers with young and old talent. They have some time to figure things out. But they will need some help to challenge the Warriors.
What is next for Cleveland?
Honestly, I’m not sure. I know they are taking down the massive LeBron James banner in downtown Cleveland this week. There is still talent on the team, but they haven’t made the playoffs without LeBron since 1998. It could be a time of trading and rebuilding. Maybe they will make the playoffs in 2019. And maybe the Browns will too.