LeBron James, the greatest player of his generation, has made a commitment to stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers for another three years, per reports.
In June, James led the city of Cleveland to its first sports championship in over 50 years. James, 31, also added another championship and Finals MVP honor to his legendary resume.
In recent years, James has signed two-year contracts with opt out clauses, giving him the freedom to plan his free agency on a yearly basis, while also maximizing his earnings due to the rising salary cap.
However, James’ latest contract will allow Cavs fans to breathe a sigh of relief, as the four-time MVP is committed to his hometown for at least another two years; the third year of the deal has a player option.
LeBron James: Contract breakdown
First year: $31 million (highest salary in the league)
Second year: $33 million (highest single-season salary since Michael Jordan in 1997-98)
Third year: $36 million (player option)
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, “James will sign the deal next week when he returns for his annual LeBron James Family Foundation charity event.”
On Thursday, James announced the decision on Uninterrupted.
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) August 11, 2016
James addressed the fans of Cleveland in his brief statement:
“I just want to let y’all (you all) know I’m re-signing back with the Cleveland Cavaliers, my hometown team. I can’t be more excited than this opportunity once again, man, to defend our crown, defend our title. We all know last year as a magical, inspiring — all the words you can come up with — it was an unbelievable season.
“I just can’t wait to get the group back together — the team, the franchise, more importantly, get everybody together, the fans. Without you guys, without your passion and commitment, we wouldn’t have been able to do what we did this past season.
“I’m ecstatic. I can’t wait to see my guys. I can’t wait to get back out there in the wine and gold and just get the band back together. Lastly, let’s get J.R. (Smith) done. It’s that time,” concluded James.
J.R. Smith is expected to be re-signed in the coming days. LeBron James and the Cavaliers will begin their championship defense with a season opener against the New York Knicks on opening night.