Columnist: Newly extended LeBron James ‘apparently running’ the Lakers

LeBron James has drawn media criticism for his new contract extension, which could hamper the Lakers’ efforts to build a championship team.

“This extension proves beyond doubt that James shares a trait with previous Lakers stars. James apparently leads the team,” wrote Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times.

In a tweet, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps shared a similar opinion: “It takes great potential for the Lakers to retool – taking less money from him, like (Philadelphia’s James) Harden did this summer – off the board.”

On Wednesday, James signed a two-year, $97.1 million extension to his current contract with the Lakers. The second year (2024-25) is a player option.

As noted ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, James passed Kevin Durant as the highest-earning player in NBA history. James now has $532 million in guaranteed money.

James averaged 27.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.4 assists in 1,366 career games with the Cavaliers, Heat and Lakers. The 37-year-old has won NBA championships with all three of these teams.

Sports Grp1

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