After years of missing out on top free agents, the Los Angeles Lakers ended their drought this summer by signing LeBron James. Not only did they add the game’s best player, the Lakers secured a long-term commitment from James as he inked a four-year deal.
James’ contract does include an opt-out clause after the third year, but his agreeing to join the team on a contract that’s more than the ‘1+1′ was a major coup for the Lakers. Unlike previous years, James’ free-agency decision was announced in muted fashion.
His Klutch Sports agency sent out a press release, and the 14-time All-Star has largely remained under the radar since July 1. The exception to that is James attending a Lakers’ Summer League game in Las Vegas, as well as grassroots youth basketball games.
James broke his silence on Sunday by expressing his excitement and feelings over signing with the Lakers, via the Uninterrupted Network:
“It’s kind of like a dream come true for me. Growing up, I was a cowboys fans, I was a Bulls fan, I was a Yankees fan. I’ve always felt like that was one of the historic franchises. And you look at the Lakers, being able to play for a historic franchise with so much history, and now being able to partner with Magic Johnson, someone I kind of looked up to when I was younger. Wanted to make no-look passes like Magic, wanted to get on the break and be ‘Showtime’ like Magic. For it to all come to fruition at this point, I think timing is everything. For me to be in this position now, the excitement that I have to be a Laker, I’m happy to be a part of it because the Lakers are a historical franchise, we all know that. But it’s a championship franchise, and that’s what we’re trying to get back to. I’m happy to be a part of the culture and be a part of us getting back to that point.”
James’ comments go against a Western Conference player and agent recently agreeing that he signed with the Lakers primarily to play in Los Angeles.
While there’s buzz over James taking the court for the Lakers, Monday is monumental in that his foundation is opening a public school in Akron, Ohio, which James will be on hand for.