Other franchises such as the Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers had been making overt public attempts to woo James to their teams, but the long-standing rumour that LeBron was angling to play in Los Angeles - where he owns property and lives most of the year - seems to have bared fruit.
The game's biggest star will now lead a young Lakers team - run by Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson - that has been overmatched in recent years while rebuilding.
James, who has a home and production company in Los Angeles, joins a team with plenty of money to spend under the National Basketball Association salary cap and a desire to rebuild into a championship team after years of struggles.
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A good way of thinking about this: If James had chosen to stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers, it would be a relatively safe call.
James had left Cleveland in 2010 for the Miami Heat, where he reached the NBA Finals four times, going 2-2, before departing for the Cavaliers, vowing to bring a title to Cleveland, his home region, having grown up in nearby Akron.
James' agency made the announcement Sunday in a release, saying he has agreed to a four-year, $154 million contract. Just as he did in 2014, James is likely to sign a shorter contract that allows him to do this whole thing again in a few summers. Los Angeles might not look like a title contender now, especially in a world where the Golden State Warriors exist, but - in James' estimation, presumably - it will. Apparently he does, and he is set to become a free agent after next season if the Spurs don't trade him sooner.
With the Lakers, James will be playing in the Western Conference for the first time and just down the Pacific Coast Highway from the Warriors, the team that has stymied him three times in the past four finals. Now that is no longer possible, and Los Angeles management can take a more measured approach when it comes to roster-building, secure in its knowledge that there isn't a more attractive destination. It also helps that the Lakers are one of the game's premier franchises.
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The signing also means James will have to interact with the Ball family at some point in the next four years.
Leonard wants out of San Antonio, and there have been some questions about whether he wants to play with James. "This will always be home", LeBron wrote on his Instagram story.
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