NBA megastar and philanthropist LeBron James continues to rewrite the record books with his illustrious career. James continues to level up as he recently became the highest-paid player in NBA history. On Wednesday, he signed a 2-year, $97.1 million extension with the Los Angeles Lakers, as reported by ESPN. The deal also includes a 3rd-year player option. This means that he will have the ability to opt-in to get picked up by the Lakers for an additional year or become an unrestricted free agent. Per previous collective bargaining agreements (CBA), players are prohibited from signing such deals if they turn 36 years old in the process which has since been modified to become the "over-38" rule—LeBron turns 38 years old this year.
Aside from this landmark deal with major monetary benefits, this agreement is significant as James' son, LeBron James Jr., known as Bronny, a current high school senior, will be eligible for the 2024 NBA draft in two years. Thus, LeBron will be able to potentially play alongside his son, which has long been a dream of his.
For his career, James will have made a total of $532 million in guaranteed money, eclipsing Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant as the highest-grossing player ever.
James’ contract will give him a starting salary of $46.7 million next season and will position the four-time MVP to retire as Laker, if he so chooses.
Although he will turn 38 years old in December, James is still playing at an MVP level, making his 18th consecutive all-star appearance this past season. Despite averaging 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 6.2 assists, James was limited to 56 games and the Lakers missed the playoffs. This upcoming season, he is chasing the all-time scoring record currently held by Kareem Abdul Jabbar, who achieved 38,387 points across his 20-year career. To do so, LeBron James will only need to average 16.2 points a game and play all 82 games to make the 1,440 point difference and break the title.