That sigh of relief you just heard was from execs at the NBA, TNT, ABC & ESPN after LeBron James’ two-year contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers was announced.
The deal will keep the league’s marquee player in the league for at least two more years — health permitting. It means James, who is “box office” in the parlance of ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, will remain a player on the league’s marquee team through 2024, and possibly longer. That’s good for ratings, even if the Lakers can’t make the playoffs.
The deal, as announced by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, is for “a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension – including a player option for the 2024-2025 season. James had been entering the final year of deal worth $44.5M.”
The extension makes James “the highest earning player in NBA history with $532M in guaranteed money,” surpassing Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant, according to Wojnarowski.
BREAKING: Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has agreed on a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension – including a player option for the 2024-2025 season, @KlutchSports CEO Rich Paul tells ESPN. James had entered the final year of deal worth $44.5M.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 17, 2022