From teen poverty to National Basketball Association stardom, LeBron lives Hollywood tale

NBA free agency rumors Kevin Durant signing 1-and-1 contract with Warriors

"Changing teams for a third time, and leaving Cleveland for a second, is not a cause for celebration", SI.com's Lee Jenkins reports.

LeBron James' decision to join the Los Angeles Lakers came as he was preparing to take a European trip with his wife.

With James on their side, Lakers will hope to be a contender in the Western Conference where the Golden State Warriors have won three of the last four National Basketball Association titles, defeating Cavaliers.

"Thank you Northeast Ohio for an incredible four seasons", James wrote on his Instagram story.

Kobe Bryant, who played his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, winning five titles, welcomed James to the "family".

There are those who believe James relishes a challenge.

Clearly, this was a move made for reasons beyond immediate basketball success or continuing his streak of eight straight NBA Finals appearances.




The failure convinced James it was time to leave and in a televised reveal, James moved to the Miami Heat alongside stars Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. The fourth year is a player option.

He played all 82 games for the first time in his career, and still dragged a mediocre Cavaliers roster to the NBA Finals, where they were swept away by Golden State.

The Lakers could ultimately choose to sign players to short contracts this offseason to keep cap space open for next summer. Anyone who comes on the market, the Lakers can be in the mix to land if they so choose.

George's choice could sway James to sign a short-term deal with Cleveland, but the Lakers are determined to get their hands on the four-time MVP.

After the Cleveland Cavaliers went a league-worst 17-65, they won the 2003 NBA Draft Lottery and selected nearby prep star James, who became NBA Rookie of the Year in 2004.

LeBron's reported deal with the Lakers, a US$154 million whopper, covers a period of four years, which will bring LeBron up to 2022 when he will be 37-years-old. That is a not a team that will contend for the Eastern Conference crown, so teams like Boston, Philadelphia and Toronto will have elevated expectations now that they don't have to meet LeBron early in the postseason. "This will always be home".

O'Neal, despite being so young, was already one of the most dominant players in the game, and was coming off a season in which he had averaged 26.6 points, 11 rebounds and 2.9 assists a game.

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