LeBron James made his intentions clear when he announced he was joining the Lakers on Sunday night: he’s planning to be in this for the long haul.
James announced via his agency that he is signing a four-year, $154 million deal with the Lakers, leaving his hometown franchise for the second time in his career.
Initially, what was one of the more shocking parts about this move was the fact that James is going to the Lakers without another superstar, namely Paul George or Kawhi Leonard, waiting for him or lined up to join him. But according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, that wasn’t exactly a surprise to James.
While the Lakers were seemingly feel a sense of urgency to find James a co-star, James assured Magic Johnson when the two met in Los Angeles on Saturday night that “this was a long-term play” and that James would not be swayed one way or the other when it came to the Lakers signing George or Leonard.
The Lakers had felt a sense of urgency this week to find a co-star LeBron — either PG or Kawhi. However when Magic spoke to James late Saturday, he assured them this was a long term play and his decision wouldn’t be affected by a transaction they could make under a time pressure— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 2, 2018
In the end, James was true to his word, giving the Lakers that long-term commitment that he never was willing to give the Cavs after he returned in 2014.