For a second time, LeBron James is leaving the Cavaliers.
On Sunday, Klutch Sports Group — James’ agency — announced that he had signed a four-year, $154 million deal with the Lakers.
This is a much different exit than last time, when James announced his decision on national television and had his jersey burned. This time around, with a title won, he announced his decision in low-key fashion. For now at least, he will also not comment further.
James’ four-year deal will take him through his 37th birthday, meaning this could very well be the last deal of his career. Assuming he has played for the Cavs for the last time, his legacy as the greatest player in franchise history — and maybe league history — is secured. No player has done what he did for the Cavs franchise and it’s possible that no player ever will. The title he won in 2016, and the circumstances he did it in, are something that cannot be forgotten.
What comes next for the Cavs now remains to be seen. Will they tear down the roster and rebuild from the ground up or, as has been reported, will they keep Kevin Love and try to stay in the playoff picture? With James now going elsewhere, Cleveland now will turn to plans it hoped it would not need to ever use.
But one simple truth remains through it all: Life without LeBron can never be quite as good as life with him.