James becomes highest paid NBA player ever


NBA superstar LeBron James has agreed to a two-year extension to his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, in a deal worth $97.1 million, according to various reports, including ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The new contract takes the 37-year-old to $532 million in guaranteed career earnings, making him the highest paid player in terms of salary in the league’s history, surpassing Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant.
The deal includes a player option for the 2024/25 season, which means that James will be able to opt out of the final year of the contract if he no longer wants to stay with the team.
CNN has reached out to the Lakers to confirm the new contract.
The new deal puts to rest any notion of James, who is already an official billionaire, becoming a free agent next year with the four-time NBA champion and MVP instead focusing on making more history with the Lakers.
The new season gets underway on October 18 and, if he steers clear of injury, James should be on track to overtake Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.
James averaged 30.3 points per game in 56 appearances last season despite the Lakers missing the playoffs in a difficult season.
But the franchise now has the salary-cap flexibility to add another max contract player to the team, potentially bolstering the star-studded roster which already boasts the likes of James, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis.