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Back in 2010 at the time of James "taking his talents to South Beach" and Gilbert's original letter, many dismissed the idea of the three-time NBA MVP ever returning to Cleveland simply based on its owner's original farewell letter.

The Cavs have been battling it out with Curry's Golden State Warriors over the past few years, with the two sides reaching the NBA Finals for the last four years in a row.

Nicknamed "King James", he is possibly the NBA's most dominant player, with countless endorsement deals.

James' agency made the huge announcement on Sunday, saying he has agreed to a staggering four-year, $154million (£117m) contract at one of the NBA's most iconic franchises.

Meanwhile, in one fell swoop the Raptors became relevant in the East just weeks after their playoff pratfall made them meme-worthy, all thanks to a certain former Cavalier. James will make him better.

The Cavaliers had hoped to re-sign James, who has appeared in eight consecutive NBA Finals.

But there will always be a portion of Cleveland fans disappointed that James left again and that he wouldn't give the Cavs a longer commitment.

Kevin Durant will sign two-year max deal with player option
Durant's salary for the upcoming season is $5.3 million less than he would have received had he agreed to a four-year contract. Spurs • Rudy Gay is returning to San Antonio.

That summer of 2019 is when a host of free agents come up: Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, Eric Bledsoe, and Kemba Walker are the biggest names, plus guys such as Kevin Love and Al Horford have player options.

That story combined with a climb to the top of the NBA's statistical mountain top - if James averages 25 points and eight assists a game over the next four seasons he'll both smash Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time National Basketball Association scoring record and jump to third all-time in assists behind John Stockton and Jason Kidd - could be James' counterargument in GOAT debates going forward.

He played all 82 games for the first time in his career, and still dragged a mediocre Cavaliers roster to the NBA Finals, where they were swept away by Golden State. The Lakers would still have a bit of maneuvering to do to sign two max players.

Now the 3-time National Basketball Association champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, ranked by Forbes magazine as the 6th-richest athlete in the world with annual income of $85.5 million, is taking his talents to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The events that culminated on Sunday night with LeBron James agreeing to a long-term deal with the Los Angeles Lakers started and ended the same way: with an unexpected tweet.

It wasn't until O'Neal's fourth season in Hollywood that the Lakers broke through to win a championship, their first of three straight with the Big Aristotle at center.

Because they own his "Bird rights" the Cavs can offer James more money than any other team - a five-year, $207 million deal. He has averaged 27.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game in 1,143 career contests.


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