LeBron James’ decision opens the Sixers’ championship window

The Los Angeles Lakers have been linked to a number of free agents so far in the early days of this offseason period.

In hindsight, LeBron James agreeing to sign with the Lakers wasn't all that surprising. And while Riley has won three more of his own as a coach and executive in Miami, the roots of Riley and Johnson's success are with the 80s Showtime Lakers and their championship machine.

LeBron James is to join the Los Angeles Lakers in a four-year deal worth $154m (£116m), his camp has announced. But so, too, were ones James had with those close to him, reports Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated.

Many have already wondered what the NBA Finals might look like without James taking on the Warriors every year. Basketball's most glamorous franchise has never done irrelevance well. This is not adversity.

But James has been to eight straight National Basketball Association finals. He also appeared in all 82 games this past season, the first time he's ever done that.

The hometown hero began his career with the Cavaliers, signing for the side fresh from high school as the number one pick in the 2003 draft. He also led the Cavs to a championship during the 2016 season, ending a 52-year title drought for the city.

James' move to the NBA's power conference should at the very least give the Raptors and their fans something to be energized about between now and October - barring Kawhi Leonard forcing a trade to the Celtics or the 76ers. He averaged 3.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 12 minutes per game last season. The team from OH made a number of trades at this past year's trade deadline, drafted Collin Sexton with the No. 8 pick in the NBA Draft and have most of its core outside of James, of course, locked up.

He played seven seasons before earning fans' ire when he signed with the Miami Heat in 2010, forming what was dubbed the "Big Three" with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

This marks the first time James will play for a team in the hotly contested Western Conference, which includes heavyweight teams such as the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets.

Those favoring James grew in numbers during those weeks he willed the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals with a postseason performance for the ages.

Oh, yes, there were memes on memes on memes, and it all starts with a great call-back to that photo from the 2018 NBA Finals.

  • Julie Sanders