LA Lakers move for basketball, not movies says NBA star

LeBron James says his move to Los Angeles Lakers was for basketball reasons – and nothing to do with his Hollywood career.

The four-time NBA Most Valuable Player joined the Lakers in July on a four-year deal worth $154m (£116m).

James, 33, is involved in various television and film projects and at a media day on Monday he was asked if that had influenced his decision.

“My decision was based solely on my family and the Lakers,” James said.

“I’m a basketball player. I play ball. That’s what I do. As far as my business is concerned, that stuff has been taking care of itself long before I came out here.”

His SpringHill Entertainment production company is involved with several projects, while James has also won a starring role in the forthcoming Space Jam movie.

Can Lakers win NBA title?

James has appeared in eight consecutive NBA finals for Cleveland Cavaliers – the team he left at the end of the season – and Miami Heat. The Lakers last reached the finals in 2010.

And James warned fans of his new franchise should not expect to be competing with champions Golden State Warriors too soon. “We’ve got a long way to go to get to Golden State,” James said.

“We can only focus on what we can do to get better every day as a Lakers franchise and hopefully some day we can put ourselves in a position where we can compete for a championship as Golden State has done for the past few years.”

But he added winning a championship was not the only measure of success, saying: “There’s only one champion, but that doesn’t mean you’re not successful.

“There’s going to be wins and losses and things of that nature. But what you can control is how you prepare every day: How we prepare every day, try to get better every day.”

‘I’m humbled & excited’

The Lakers have been starved of success in recent seasons – despite boasting the talents of 18-time All Star Kobe Bryant – and he is just one of the former greats James said made him “excited” to join the franchise.

Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal are just some of those to have worn the yellow shirt of the Lakers.

“I think we all know this has been a historical franchise in this league for years,” James said. “You talk about the championships, the players that have come through this franchise, that have worn this uniform, that’s an excitement in its own right.

“It’s always humbling for me to be a part of something special.”

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