In case you’ve been living under a rock, allow me to catch you up: LeBron James is a Los Angeles Laker. I repeat, LeBron James is a Laker. After losing to the Golden State Warriors in his seventh straight NBA Finals appearance, LeBron decided to opt out of his player option with the Cleveland Cavaliers and become a free agent.
Before making his decision, it was rumored that he was choosing between the Houston Rockets, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers.After a brief meeting with the Philadelphia 76ers, LeBron made his decision and signed a four-year, max contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. This will be the third team James has played for in his 16-year career and also his first time playing in the loaded Western Conference. Despite seemingly never-ending rumors, LeBron was the Lakers’ only superstar free agent signing this offseason. LA expected to sign 5-time All-Star Paul George as well, but eventually he decided to resign with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Lakers then went the other direction, and chose to sign a motley crew of Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley and JaVale McGee.
Lebron spoke about his decision saying “I like the challenge of being able to help a team get to places they haven’t been in quite a while… and obviously the Lakers haven’t made the playoffs in a few years, but the Lakers organization and historical franchise matches up there with all the greats.” James knows that it’ll be a challenge to bring the Lakers to the playoffs in the highly competitive Western Conference. The Los Angeles Lakers finished last season with a 35-47 record.
LeBron and his family moved into their home in California – the same home that was vandalized with racial slurs right before the 2017 NBA Finals. With his family now living in California, LeBron’s kids will go to school in California as well. James’ oldest son, LeBron Jr. is enrolled at Crossroads, one of the top ranked basketball schools in California. Shaqir O’Neal, NBA legend, Shaquille O’Neal’s son also attends Crossroads. James Jr. is already one of the top prospects in his class and looks to improve his game before he goes to the next level.
Speaking of schools, Lebron James recently opened up a school of his own, his “I Promise” School in Akron, OH for at-risk third and fourth graders. The opening of the school was major for LeBron because he was able to help out and give to his childhood community. The school offers students numerous benefits, including free tuition, free school uniforms, a free bike and bike helmet, free meals, free transportation within 2 miles from the school, access to a food pantry for their family and guaranteed college tuition for graduates to Akron University. The school also offers parents access to job placement services and help with obtaining their GED’s. Currently, the school is only open to third and fourth grade students, but plans to expand to being open for first to eighth grade students by 2022.
LeBron James has also recently premiered an HBO special called “The Shop,” that made its debut over the summer. “The Shop” is a barber-shop themed conversation with athletes of various sports and entertainers. The panel included NBA All-star Draymond Green, NFL players Odell Beckham Jr. and Michael Bennet, WNBA All-Star Candace Parker, rappers Snoop Dogg and Vince Staples and comedian Jon Stewart. The panel touched on various topics including, social justice, family, how their careers affect their life and much more.
Recently, it was announced that “Space Jam 2” will be released, starring LeBron James and produced by “Black Panther” director, Ryan Coogler. This announcement comes 22 years after the original “Space Jam” premiered in theaters. For years there has been much hope and speculation for the possibility of a sequel. Not many details about the movie have been released, so we will have to wait and see who makes the star studded Monstar roster. On top of Space Jam, LeBron is also set to appear in the upcoming animated film, “Small Foot,” as the voice of Gwangi. LeBron’s new location in Los Angeles allows him the opportunity to work on more films and productions.
Lebron James is more than an athlete. He’s a father, a social activist, actor and much more. He is the prime example of what an athlete should look like because he knows how big his platform is and uses it it well. He’s now on a new team, in a new city, in a different conference – so much has changed for the king, but it has been rare for him to have a challenge that he can’t handle. This season, the challenge will be taking a 35-47 Los Angeles Lakers team to the playoffs for the first time since 2013. He knows that it’ll be tough but is willing to take on the challenge. We’ve seen him do it all before, even when we think there is nothing else he can do, so we’ll just have to stay tuned to see what he does next.