first_imgContract: 2 years, $42.2 millionWhen LeBron left Cleveland, the idea that he might someday return always existed but many believed that bridge was burned with Dan Gilbert’s infamous letter. Although he did promise the city of Miami more than two championships, once Cleveland had a young star in Kyrie Irving and multiple pieces to get another star through a trade, his return to Cleveland made more sense. As great as LeBron was, he never had enough of a supporting cast in Cleveland to deliver a title in his first stint with the Cavs, reaching the Finals just once. When it was time to choose between playing with an aging trio in Miami or returning home to lead a talented but less-experienced group, James ultimately chose wisely. Few players appear to have as much passion for their city as LeBron has for Cleveland, and he seemed as moved as anyone when the 2016 title he helped win ended the city’s decades-long history of coming up short.2018Previous Team: Cleveland CavaliersNew Team: LakersContract: 4 years, $153.3 millionJames said he would factor family – he has three children, and his oldest son is a rising basketball star about to begin high school – into the choice of where he plays next. He already had some shallow roots on the West Coast with two homes in the Los Angeles area and a film production company, and the chance to join one of the league’s most iconic franchises clearly held some appeal. His management agency, Klutch Sports Group, announced his agreement with the Lakers with a simple, 36-word press release. James said following this year’s NBA Finals loss – his eighth straight Finals appearance – that he remains in “championship mode,” so now the pressure is on the Lakers to deliver him a roster that can contend. With the ability to sign another maximum-contract player in addition to James, the Lakers hope to build a “super team” around him, adding at least one more elite player to an already promising young core. This is the third time LeBron James has announced a major career move, sending shockwaves through the league each time. Here’s a quick recap of each decision.2010Previous Team: Cleveland CavaliersNew Team: Miami Heat Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersContract: 6 years, $110 million“This fall, I’m going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat.” There was plenty of speculation that James was getting frustrated with the Cavaliers’ constant playoff failure, but most believed he would return to Cleveland even after Chris Bosh had announced he was leaving Toronto to sign with Miami. Instead, James delivered a nationally televised jaw-dropper and set the precedent for superstars helping create superteams when he joined Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami. The trio ended up winning two titles in four trips to the Finals.2014Previous Team: Miami HeatNew Team: Cleveland Cavalierslast_img