According to Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have agreed on a two-year, $85 million deal. This deal is completely unexpected, but not just because it’s a big payday for LeBron. It indicates that LeBron has achieved mogul status.
While most eyes were on Lakers big man Anthony Davis and his deal, which is expected to come out this week, LeBron came out of left field with a deal of his own. The deal might just be a reward for cashing in on an NBA title, or it could mean that his work on the court there is effectively done.
Inking a deal that now rakes in roughly $42.5 million a year doesn’t do anything to help the Lakers, who are walking a thin line financially. How does it make any sense to reach for more money when LeBron is fully aware that the organization needs every penny to improve the roster?
LeBron James is signaling to the Lakers fan base: mission accomplished.
Considering he’s now delivered on his promise to LA, he’s right that he doesn’t need to win again. Surpassing MJ’s six titles would be nice, but it’s not necessary. LeBron’s argument has always been that no other player in the game’s history has ever won Finals MVP with three different teams. He didn’t just win titles anywhere–two of those rings came for Cleveland (of all places) and the bright lights of Los Angeles. King James has proven he can walk into any city and make them a winner.
What’s next for LeBron?
The Lakers are about to lock Anthony Davis in for the next two years. L.A. definitely got better this offseason, so the Lakers are right back in the mix for an NBA title. LeBron’s new deal is exactly what the the Buss family gave the late Kobe Bryant on his way out. Bryant had already won the franchise five NBA titles, making it worth his while to stay and cash out on his terms.
The Lakers are now giving LeBron the Kobe treatment. Does he deserve it after winning just one ring? Some will argue he doesn’t, but he did take the franchise from league laughingstock to premier powerhouse.
If you ask me, LeBron is worth it, even if the organization must pinch pennies elsewhere for the next two years. He’s officially a mogul.