As LeBron James gears up for his 21st NBA season, he also approaches a milestone birthday, turning 39 this December. This will crown him as the NBA's oldest active player, but don't let the age fool you; the King shows no signs of slowing down.
LeBron's resilience and seemingly endless skill set are perhaps best exemplified by the contract extension he recently inked with the Los Angeles Lakers. This lucrative deal comprises a two-year extension valued at $99 million, ensuring LeBron's presence on the Lakers' roster until the 2024-25 season, contingent on him exercising a player option.
Remarkably, should James honor the entirety of this contract, he would remain a fixture in the NBA beyond his 40th birthday. This speaks volumes not only to his longevity but also to the high level of trust the Lakers organization places in him.
The contract also positions him as one of the NBA's top earners and potentially sets the stage for a sensational career finale—playing alongside his son Bronny, who is projected to enter the NBA draft in 2024.
LeBron's Contract Evolution
LeBron's journey through NBA contracts provides a fascinating narrative.
He began his professional odyssey with the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he signed his first significant extension in 2007, a four-year pact worth $60.4 million. That leap in salary marked a seismic shift from his rookie contract and set the stage for his meteoric rise.
His next significant career move was "The Decision" to join the Miami Heat in 2010. Teaming up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, LeBron captured his first two NBA championships there, solidifying his legacy. His next chapter led him back to Cleveland for the 2014-15 season, albeit on a one-year deal.
The reunion bore fruit as LeBron clashed with the Golden State Warriors in four consecutive NBA Finals. Though the Warriors took the first series, LeBron and the Cavs orchestrated a legendary comeback in 2016, making good on his vow to bring a championship to Cleveland, even against a Warriors squad boasting a record 73-9 season.
LeBron eventually set his sights on Hollywood, joining the Lakers and securing another title alongside Anthony Davis. As he prepares for another season, his new contract extension is a testament to an unparalleled career that continues to defy time and set new standards in the NBA.