After dominating the Eastern Conference since the 2010-11 NBA season, LeBron James signed a four-year, $154 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Coming off three championships in eight consecutive NBA Finals appearances with the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers, the 33-year-old has embraced the challenge of helping the Lakers not only end their five-year playoff drought but become championship contenders.
Although the Western Conference has been much more competitive during this stretch, it does not diminish James’ incredible individual streak.
At this stage of his career, James has already cemented himself as one of the greatest players of all time. While there will continue to be debates about where he ranks, James continues to break individual records and puts himself and his team in the best position to win a championship every season.
Heading into the 2018-19 NBA season, this is perhaps James’ greatest challenge but could be the most rewarding in his career. If he is able to deliver the team’s 17th championship and first since the 2009-10 season, he will be one of only three players (Robert Horry and John Salley) to win with three different teams.
Although the goal is to win now, the Lakers are in a position to win the short- and long-term. While it is currently James and the young core, they will be able to add another All-Star player in 2019 free agency and Jimmy Butler is reportedly interested in signing with the Lakers.