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panxing18
post Thu 9 Aug 2018, 06:59
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It’s official. LeBron is a Laker.

The Los Angeles Lakers announced the signing of LeBron James as a free agent Monday night Adam Ottavino Colorado Rockies Jersey , confirming the seismic shift created by the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player’s decision to leave Cleveland for the 16-time champion franchise on the West Coast.

James’ representatives at Klutch Sports Group tweeted a photo of James signing his contract with Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka. James’ agency already announced last week that the superstar had agreed to a four-year deal worth $153.3 million with Los Angeles.

The Lakers have missed the playoffs in a franchise-record five consecutive seasons, while James has played in the past eight NBA Finals with the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning three titles.

The 33-year-old budding entertainment mogul immediately becomes the focus of the Lakers franchise and a possible foundation for the NBA’s next superteam, depending on whether James and the Lakers can persuade more superstars to join him in the next year or two.

Magic Johnson, the Lakers’ president of basketball operations, called James ”the best player in the world” in a news release.

”He loves to compete and is an awesome leader who is about winning and making sure that his teammates are successful,” Johnson said. ”The Lakers players are excited to have a teammate who has been to nine NBA Finals. It’s a huge step closer to returning the Lakers to the playoffs and to the NBA Finals.”

James is coming off one of his greatest NBA seasons, playing in all 82 regular-season games for the Cavaliers while finishing third in the NBA with 27.5 points per game and hitting career highs with 8.6 rebounds and 9.1 assists. He then carried Cleveland to its fourth consecutive NBA Finals, where the Cavs were swept by Golden State.

”This is a historic moment for the Lakers, and we could not feel more grateful and honored Mark Andrews Color Rush Jersey ,” Pelinka said. ”When LeBron James – a perennial NBA MVP and champion who is playing at the most astonishing levels of his career – chooses to join the Lakers, it serves as the ultimate validation for what we are building here. However, we all know that the work is not yet done.”

James’ arrival is indeed validation for Johnson and Pelinka, who took over the Lakers’ front office in February 2017 with a specific plan to rebuild the franchise by persuading established superstars to join as free agents.

The Lakers already have begun assembling a revamped team around James by acquiring Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee and Lance Stephenson in free agency while retaining guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Los Angeles also assembled a reasonably talented young core before James’ arrival with Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart.

But they didn’t even get a meeting with star scorer Paul George before the Southern California native re-signed with Oklahoma City, and their efforts to acquire disgruntled two-way superstar Kawhi Leonard from San Antonio haven’t borne fruit so far.

The Lakers don’t appear to be planning a public event to welcome James to Los Angeles, where he already owns multiple homes and spends summers with his family.

But Blaze Pizza – the growing pizza chain in which James is an investor – announced a three-hour pizza giveaway on Tuesday to welcome James to LA.

LeBron responded with a tweet , his first since June 26: ”Haven’t been to a pizza party in a minute … Culver City?”



For a team that entered the season thinking it was ready to win 50 games and reach the Eastern Conference finals Joel Iyiegbuniwe Color Rush Jersey , John Wall’s Washington Wizards sure did lose a lot of games against teams that didn’t even make the playoffs.

And everything revealed by those defeats against the likes of the Hawks and Magic, or the Mavericks and Suns, or the Nets and Bulls – a lack of consistency, for example, or an inability to close out opponents – were the same sorts of problems that failed the Wizards in their first-round exit as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.

”We had some great moments. Then we showed bad moments,” Wall said Saturday, the day after a 102-92 loss in Game 6 against the No. 1 seed Toronto Raptors ended Washington’s season. ”Just kind of not respecting some of the opponents that we went against.”

Asked why that happened, forward Markieff Morris said: ”Sometimes it felt like it was immaturity. … Not coming in and doing our job.”

The issue might have been as much a detriment as missing Wall for 41 regular-season games because of health problems – they were 23-18 with him, 20-21 without – or a mediocre reserve unit.

”I guess the one thing about the Wizards (is) you never know who you’re going to expect today,” center Marcin Gortat said. ”You might get a team that’s going to lose to the worst team in the league – or can beat the best team in the league.”

Shooting guard Bradley Beal http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/aut...-griffin-jersey , who joined Wall as an All-Star for the first time, agreed with others that the Wizards had a problem taking for granted games against foes with losing records.

”There were a lot of times that we would just show up and think we were just going to win the game,” Beal said. ”You can’t do that. You have to respect everybody.”

Wall and Beal – the two leading scorers – are both playing under long-term, maximum-money contracts, as is third option Otto Porter Jr.

And coach Scott Brooks has three years left on his deal.

So the assumption is that this will be the core moving forward. Wall said it’s clear that Washington needs some new parts, more than once describing what’s lacking are players ”that really want to be here.”

Now the question becomes whether that trio of players and their coach can finally take a step forward next year. Wall and Beal have yet to get past the second round of the playoffs.

”Going into the season,” Brooks said, ”we definitely had some high expectations.”

They weren’t met.

Here are other things to know about the Wizards as their offseason begins:

CHEMISTRY MAJORS

There was a lot of speculation about whether there was shaky locker room chemistry, and while reserve Mike Scott and Gortat were eager to dismiss that notion, others weren’t so clear that it was a non-factor.

”I feel like we might not have identified the real issues Giants Saquon Barkley Jersey ,” backup center Ian Mahinmi said. ”Unless we can honestly and genuinely talk and find solution, we (are) going to continue the trend that’s going right now.”

He mentioned ”miscommunication” and added: ”I don’t think we had a genuine approach with everything.”

Said Wall: ”When things are going well, everybody’s happy, everybody wants to be here. But when things get rough, that’s when you really figure out who’s your brother.”

WALL AND BEAL

Beal carried the club while Wall was out and played in all 82 games for the first time. As for chatter about breaking up the duo, Beal says he’s not interested. ”They have trusted us, to build around us,” Beal said. ”I’m not really a fan of change and starting over again. Hopefully (owner Ted Leonsis and team president Ernie Grunfeld) won’t give me the boot – or give either of us the boot.”

SMALL BALL?

With two back-to-the-basket and screen-setting centers in Gortat and Mahinmi, the Wizards could try to figure out a way to make a change to that part of the roster.

”We don’t really have an athletic big. I mean, Ian is older. (Gortat) is older http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/aut...-dickson-jersey ,” Wall said. ”They’re not athletic guys, but they do the little things that permit their game to help as much as possible.”

Brooks would love his big men to shoot 3s, but Gortat flatly ruled out trying to work on that aspect of his game.

”I hate small ball,” Gortat said. ”Small ball basketball in this league is just trash.”



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