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Columnist: LeBron James ‘seems to run’ the Lakers

James shares one trait with previous Lakers stars

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LeBron James’ new contract agreement, which could hinder the Lakers’ ambitions to assemble a championship squad, sparked criticism from the media.

The fact that James has a feature in common with former Lakers great is certainly demonstrated by this extension. James appears to be in charge of the team, according to Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times.

Tim Bontemps of ESPN had a similar viewpoint in a tweet and said that the move “takes off the table a significant possible route for the Lakers to re-tool – him taking less money, like (Philadelphia’s James) Harden did this summer.”

James extended his current contract with the Lakers on Wednesday for $97.1 million over two years. The second year (2024–25) is a player option.

James has eclipsed Kevin Durant as the highest-paid player in NBA history, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. James now has $532M in money that is guaranteed.

Throughout 1,366 games played with the Cavaliers, Heat, and Lakers in his career, James has averaged 27.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 7.4 assists. With those three teams, the 37-year-old has won NBA championships.

LeBron James highlights from the 2021–22 season, in 10 minutes. Enjoy. pic.twitter.com/gk9neFyWDs Basketball UK (@NBAUK) 12 August 2022

Will James remain healthy the following year?

James, a four-time NBA MVP, played in 56 games last season and averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 6.2 assists. However, the Lakers missed the playoffs after losing 49 games.

James plays at a high level every season, but injuries have increased in recent years. Since he joined the Lakers in 2018, he has missed 84 games during the regular season. Over the course of 223 games with the Lakers, James has averaged 27 points, 8.2 assists, and 8 rebounds in 35.2 minutes.

The Lakers anticipate that James will lead them back to the playoffs with the assistance of their youthful role players, a healthy Anthony Davis, and new head coach Darvin Ham. However, it’s difficult to see how they might contend with the defending Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors and up-and-coming squads like the Dallas Mavericks if they are unable to sign players due to James’ contract.

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