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NBA star LeBron James signs for Los Angeles Lakers in shock move


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LeBron James shocked the basketball world on July 1st by announcing his decision to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers.

On the first evening of free agency, ESPN's NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the news and consequently set the internet into a frenzy. Memes went viral, and fan reactions were full of joy and excitement. The NBA's biggest fish was now in its biggest market. The Los Angeles Lakers were finally relevant again.

This is the third time in his career that LeBron was faced with a free agency decision, and also the third time that he's opted to join a new team. Whilst it seemed likely he would depart from his hometown team of Cleveland after four magical seasons; his ultimate decision to take his talents to the city of Angels took the world by storm.

However, after taking a few days to digest and process his decision, this move by James makes perfect sense. He already is arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time. And the greatest player of all time, playing for the most storied franchise of all time, is a match made in heaven. LeBron was destined to wear the iconic purple and gold. For many, this is the basketball equivalent to when Cristiano Ronaldo first signed for Real Madrid back in 2009. 

Lakers president of basketball operations, Magic Johnson, met with James at the start of free agency, which ultimately proved pivotal for the storied franchise. With a four-year contract, James is in it for the long haul. He has an opportunity to place his name next to the rest of the Lakers greats and he made sure to connect with a couple of them before joining the illustrious franchise.

Moreover, this makes the Lakers a title contender for the first time this decade. Despite the Lakers having 15 titles in their history, they haven't been triumphant since 2010. And for a fan-base so accustomed to winning, this has been a painful run.

The men in purple and gold have dominated the League for years; legendary point guard Magic Johnson led the 'Showtime Lakers' to 5 titles in the 80's, and the Kobe Bryant era during the 00's delivered the city five championships.

Kobe is a god-like figure in the streets of Los Angeles. Adored by millions, the now-retired legend is widely considered as the greatest Laker of all-time. Fans passionately defend Kobe's legacy and honour at every corner and fans have already made it clear that LeBron will never be able to fill that Kobe shaped hole in their hearts.

Luckily for Lebron and Laker's fans, however, LeBron doesn't need to fill anyone's shoes in order for the Lakers to be great again.

In his own right, LeBron is already an iconic NBA figure and a three-time champion. Kobe versus LeBron debates over the last 15 years have seen Laker fans ridicule James at every opportunity. However, if the Lakers are to return to their glory days, fans must put behind the past behind them and embrace the King joining them. And with a shared common goal, I am sure this will be the case. Both player and fan-base just want LA to win again.

However, to do that LeBron and the Lakers will need to take down the NBA's juggernaut that situates up the road in San Francisco, the Golden State Warriors. During his time in Cleveland, LeBron carried his team to four straight NBA finals. In each of the finals they faced the Warriors; and in three out of the four meetings, the Warriors came out victorious. 

It has been reported that the Lakers are currently working on a trade package for San Antonio Spurs star forward Kawhi Leonard. Adding a former Finals MVP in Leonard would without a doubt make the Lakers a serious threat to the Warriors' Golden reign. However, for now, it is still only LeBron and the kids in LA. 

Who knows, maybe the King's greatness alone is enough to lead the Lakers back to glory, or maybe GM Magic Johnson has one more trick under his sleeve to land a second superstar in LA.

Whatever happens in the coming days or weeks, one thing is for certain; the Lakers are finally relevant again, and that's always good for the NBA.

Enjoy it Los Angeles, it's been a while. 

Media Credit - Wikipedia Commons. Flickr Commons, Keith Allison. Twitter. NBA. 

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