Cleveland hurting after LeBron chooses L.A., Lakers

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Cleveland hurting after LeBron chooses L.A., Lakers

The NBA's online store is already selling Lakers jerseys with James' name on the back.

The NBA star, one of the most coveted free agents in years, just signed a staggering $154 million (£117.1 million) deal over four years to play for the Los Angeles, California-based team. Despite reaching the NBA Finals in each of the last four years, Cleveland's odds of winning the title plummeted from 25/1 to 500/1 after LeBron announced his departure.

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Cleveland Cavaliers GM Koby Altman also spoke to both James and Paul in a phone call right after free agency opened at 12:01 a.m., according to the network.

James, 33, is a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player and arguably the league's most dominant player. However, with James signing, they will once again be a playoff team, and depending on the development of their young core, could be a threat in the Western Conference.

Many have already wondered what the NBA Finals might look like without James taking on the Warriors every year.

The four-time National Basketball Association most value player informed the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday that he was not exercising his $35.6m (£26.8m) option and was becoming a free agent. Using the stretch provision on Luol Deng's contract-Deng is owed almost $37 million over the next two years-would also give the Lakers more money to spend. "If they get anyone other than Kawhi Leonard, they'll be a good team and fun to watch but I don't think they're a title contender yet". A failed super team and poor decisions in free agency resulted in the Lakers having to go through a tough rebuild.

Shortly after the announcement, James posted a three-photo tribute to Cleveland fans on his Instagram account.

Bosh hasn't played since the 2015-16 season because of blood clots, so there's no telling whether he'd even be cleared to return.

Even Kobe Bryant, who spent his entire 20-year National Basketball Association career with the Lakers, saluted James. Pic: GettyIn his time with the Cavs, James managed to bring a championship to Cleveland.

"Um, I did, I did, "James told GQ in an in-depth interview last summer when he was asked if Gilbert's first letter was racial".

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