What they're saying about LeBron James' deal with the Lakers

A look at what sports writers, columnists and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert are saying about LeBron James' departure from Cleveland to Los Angeles.

LeBron James will wear Los Angeles Lakers yellow for a $154 million price tag over the next four years. Here is a sample of what sports writers and columnists (as well as one owner) are saying about the basketball star’s transformation into “LABron.”

“The Lakers don't likely have a path to challenging the Warriors next season, even with James. But after five seasons in the lottery, L.A. should again challenge to win a playoff series or two while building something bigger and better for future seasons.”


>>>Kevin Pelton, ESPN

“Looking ahead, I'm excited about this chapter of LeBron's career for a few reasons: 1. The relationship with Kobe is going to be incredibly weird and entertaining, and even if this experiment fails on the court, we're getting four years to watch those guys interact. Also, that entire sentence applies double to Magic Johnson. 2. If LeBron can take this Lakers team to the Finals in the next two years, he's probably going to be facing Kyrie Irving and the Celtics in a series that will split the earth in half. 3. This is, without question, the biggest challenge of LeBron's career.”


>>>Andrew Sharp, Sports Illustrated

“James believes the Lakers are in position – with some of the players they have now – to build a team that can contend for a championship soon. Also, James was not adamant that another All-Star, such as Kawhi Leonard or Paul George, had to join the Lakers for him to sign with the Lakers. He understands they can build and create a contender with him there.”

>>>Jeff Zillgitt,, USA Today Sports

“This might be bad for Cleveland, bad for the Eastern Conference, and, if Kawhi arrives behind James, bad for competitive balance. But make no mistake: It is very, very good for the NBA’s business. One of its marquee franchises now employs the marquee player. You cannot quantify how important that is.”

>>>Chris Ryan, The Ringer

“James, always fidgety, always impatient, was destined to make another move. Perhaps it’s only right that he chose a franchise, despite its recent struggles, that always wants more.”

>>>Jerry Brewer, Washington Post

“We will always remember the evening of June 19, 2016 as the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, ended the 52-year drought delivering the long elusive championship that many thought they would never see... A championship that united generations of Clevelanders, both living and passed.


Virtually anyone with roots in Northeast Ohio paused and felt the memories of the past and the utter joy that the burden of the so-called ‘curse’ was finally a thing of the past. Cleveland, Ohio was the home of a championship team for the first time since 1964. Words do not express the meaning and the feeling this accomplishment brought to the people of Northeast Ohio.

None of this would have happened if LeBron James did not agree to come back home and lead the Cavaliers to the promised land. The entire Cavaliers franchise thanks LeBron for that precious moment and for all of the excitement he delivered as he led our team to four straight NBA Finals appearances.

LeBron is a family man, first. We wish his kids, his wife Savannah, his mother Gloria, and LeBron himself nothing but the best in the years and decades ahead. LeBron’s connection to Akron, Cleveland and all of Northeast Ohio will most certainly endure as his commitment to the region and his support of many important causes has been impactful to so many kids and families.

LeBron, you came home and delivered the ultimate goal. Nothing but appreciation and gratitude for everything you put into every moment you spent in a Cavaliers uniform. We look forward to the retirement of the famous #23 Cavs jersey one day down the line...”

>>>Dan Gilbert, Chairman, Cleveland Cavaliers