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Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron James 'thought long and hard' about joining 76ers, Rockets

#Ben LEbron
Ben Simmons and LeBron James look on during the game on April 6, 2018 at the Wells Fargo Center. (Getty)

The LeBron James sweepstakes was a major topic of conversation all season long, and at least for the next three to four years, we know he'll be playing in Los Angeles with the Lakers.

The Lakers gain was the Rockets and 76ers loss as both teams were rumoured to have a chance at adding the King to their rosters. On Monday, LeBron finally spoke and about how close he was to joining the championship ready rosters in both Houston and Philadelphia.

"I definitely thought long and hard about lining up alongside Ben (Simmons) and (Joel) Embiid, or lining up beside (James) Harden or Chris (Paul)," James told ESPN's Rachel Nichols via ESPN.com. "I just felt like at this point in my career, the ultimate for me, just like when I went to Miami -- everyone kind of looks at me joining a superteam, but if people look at it, I think Miami was 35-47 the year before I joined that team.

"I like the challenge of being able to help a team get to places that they haven't been in quite a while. Obviously, the Lakers haven't made the playoffs in a few years."

The last time the Lakers were in the playoffs was 2013 where they got swept in the first round by the eventual Western Conference Champion San Antonio Spurs. The current five-year playoff drought is the longest in franchise history. Expectations in Los Angeles are always high and that's something James is aware of heading into his first season in Purple and Gold.

"The Lakers organization and historical franchise matches up there with all the greats," James continued. "You can look at the Cowboys and you can look at the Patriots, you can look at Manchester United, the Boston Celtics -- these are like historical franchises.

"And for me to be a part of that, I think it's a great move not only for me but for my family and for the history of basketball in general.

"So we have a great young core, we have great veterans, we have a great system and a great organization, more importantly, so it should be fun."

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