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LeBron James has decided he will take his talents to the west coast and join Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles. According to an unnamed source, the 29-year-old back-to-back world champion will opt out of his contract with the Miami Heat and join the Lakers.
Money is said to be the motivation for LeBron leaving. Though James was set to make $20,590,000 for the upcoming season, he believed that was still under the amount he is worth. James did not wish to play at a discounted rate while not having a roster capable of bringing home the Larry Oâ€™Brien trophy. â€œJames isnâ€™t interested in reducing his salary from $20.6 next season, and $22.1 million in 2015-16 just so that team owner Micky Arison can avoid paying luxury taxes,â€ the NY Daily News reported.
James is expected to sign with the Lakers for a deal that would exceed or match the recent deal given to Kobe Bryant. Bryant is scheduled to make $23,500,000 in the 2014-15 season and $25,000,000 in the 2015-16 season.
Many speculated that James would join his best friend Chris Paul on the Clippers, but opted instead to join forces with Kobe Bryant. Early reports suggested that Bryant was considering retirement, but has now opted to treat his nagging knee injury in order to pursue his elusive 6th ring alongside LeBron James.
The Lakers are also making a push to land Carmelo Anthony, who would have to agree to play at a discounted rate, with the bulk of the money being used up on LeBron and Kobe.
It is unknown what Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade will do now that LeBron has decided to exit that team.