LeBron James is officially a Laker

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The Lakers just got measurably better. This will bring the team to the playoffs, and, they hope, bring a championship trophy home. Plus, LeBron brings a commitment to speak on social issues, without hesitation or fear. His influence on the young team will produce dividends long after he leaves.

Below is their press release announcing the signing.

EL SEGUNDO The Los Angeles Lakers have signed forward LeBron James, it was announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.

“Today is a great day for the Lakers organization and Lakers fans all over the world to welcome LeBron James, a three-time NBA Champion and four-time NBA MVP,” said Lakers President of Basketball Operations Earvin “Magic” Johnson. “LeBron is special. He is the best player in the world. He loves to compete and is an awesome leader who is about winning and making sure that his teammates are successful. The Lakers players are excited to have a teammate who has been to nine NBA Finals. It’s a huge step closer to returning the Lakers to the playoffs and to the NBA Finals.”

LeBron James joining the movement after the death of Eric Garner

James played in all 82 games last season, tallying a team-high 27.5 points (third in the NBA), a career-high-tying 8.6 rebounds and a career-high 9.1 assists (second in the NBA), while shooting 54.2 percent from the field. He finished the season with a league-high 2,251 total points scored and became the first player in NBA history to accumulate at least 30,000 career points, 8,000 rebounds and 8,000 assists. In addition, the 15-year NBA veteran currently holds the longest-ever double-digit scoring streak at 873 games.

“This is a historic moment for the Lakers, and we could not feel more grateful and honored,” Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka said. “When LeBron James – a perennial NBA MVP and champion who is playing at the most astonishing levels of his career – chooses to join the Lakers, it serves as the ultimate validation for what we are building here. However, we all know that the work is not yet done. We will continue forward and do all that is necessary to achieve our shared obsession of bringing banner No. 17 to the world’s best fans – Lakers Nation.”

A four-time NBA MVP (2009, ’10, ’12, ’13), James has played in 1,143 career regular season games (1,142 starts) for Cleveland and Miami, holding averages of 27.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game. With one of the most storied careers in NBA history, he currently ranks seventh in total points scored (31,038), 11th in all-time assists (8,208) and 16th in career steals (1,865).

James, a three-time NBA Champion and three-time Finals MVP, has made nine trips to the NBA Finals, playing in 239 career playoff games with averages of 28.9 points (.491 FG%), 8.9 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.0 block in 42.0 minutes. He is the only player in NBA history to play more than 10,000 postseason minutes and is the league’s all-time leader in total playoff points (6,911) and steals (419), also ranking third in assists (1,687) and sixth in rebounds (2,212).

The Akron, OH, native has been named an NBA All-Star in each of the last 14 seasons, earning First Team All-NBA honors on 12 occasions, including the last 11 consecutive seasons. The 2003-04 Rookie of the Year is a five-time First Team All-Defensive Team member, a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist for Team USA (2008, ’12) and the 2016-17 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award winner.

In 2004, LeBron started the LeBron James Family Foundation that now serves more than 1,300 Akron-area students and their families with the programs, support and mentors they need for success in school and beyond. Turning its attention to the life-changing power of education with its “I PROMISE” program in 2011, LJFF has committed four-year college scholarships to all of its eligible students and also provides a program for parents to earn their high school GED’s. In July of 2018, all of his Foundation’s interventions and research-based incentives – along with its “We Are Family” philosophy – will be implemented into a brand new public school, the I PROMISE School, dedicated to giving Akron’s most challenged students and their families the resources and wraparound supports needed on the path to a better future.

Photos by Claudia Gestro