LeBron James made the decision to go to the Western Conference for the first time in his career, and his decision was not announced in an ESPN special. Klutch Sports Group, James' agency, announced on Sunday that James signed a 4-year, $154 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. The four-time NBA Most Valuable Player will join Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and company to try to return the Lakers to championship relevancy.

James' move to Los Angeles was expected

Unlike the first time he left Cleveland, the move to the Lakers was part of the conversation around the league for most of the last year.

After losing in the most recent NBA Finals, it was clear that James' departure might be inevitable. Early reports that Paul George would join the Lakers (along with Kawhi Leonard) seem to have made Los Angeles the ideal free agent destination for James this year.

James led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a title in 2016, and that Cavaliers team overcame a 3-1 series deficit against the Golden State Warriors. The title ended Cleveland's 52-year professional sports title drought and James won the NBA Finals MVP in a unanimous vote.

James says goodbye to Cleveland

James will leave Cleveland leading most of the major statistical categories such as games played, points, rebounds, assists, and steals.

He posted in an Instagram story a goodbye to Cleveland which read, "Thank you Northeast Ohio for an incredible 4 seasons. This will always be my home."

After James left in 2010, owner Dan Gilbert wrote a farewell letter that was quite bitter, in which Gilbert stated that the Cavaliers would win an NBA Championship before James brought one to Miami.

That was not the case, however, as it took James' return to bring a title to Cleveland.

Nevertheless, this year's farewell letter to James was more heartfelt and gracious, and maybe that is because Cleveland has a championship. Part of the letter reads: "We will always remember the evening of June 19, 2016 as the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, ended a 52-year drought delivering the long elusive championship that many thought they would never see..." (Deadspin).

As Gilbert celebrated the Cavs' success, he also thanked the Akron, Ohio native and wished him the best in the future.

James was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003 where he was part of a championship run in 2007. He won two championships during his stint with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013, and another during his second run with the Cavaliers in 2016.