Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant revealed he personally welcomed LeBron James to his old team with open arms and believes his arrival creates a lot of energy for the franchise.

James signed a four-year, $154 million deal on Sunday that will see him join the Lakers next season, instantly making them title contenders as they look to win a first championship since 2010.

His first time in the Western Conference, the 33-year-old will now join an elite list of players to have donned the purple and gold such as Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to name a few.

And despite their competitive rivalry over the years, Bryant, a five-time champion, welcomed James to the Los Angeles family and offered him any support necessary.

"I spoke to him during the playoffs and then I talked to him last night, right after the decision," Bryant told Stephen A. Smith on ESPN radio. "I told him, 'Welcome to the family, man.' It sounds crazy but I said, 'Dude you are part of the family now. So anything you need on my end, I got you. Whatever the case may be, I am here for you.' Just wishing him and his family the best and looking forward to seeing them when they get in."

The duo's past rivalry formed mostly out of comparisons between the pair to Michael Jordan who boasts six championships and is regarded as the greatest basketball player of all time.

James though, has a losing record in the NBA Finals with six losses in nine appearances, the most recent of which came against the Golden State Warriors last month, while he still lags two rings behind Bryant.

This has led to subtle potshots from Bryant over the years, most recently claiming he judges legacy by the number of championships a player has won. But with the Akron native now playing for the team he played for in a 20-year spell, the 39-year-old is open to a successful era with a new player leading the line.

"Dude, as people, you got to help your brothers do well," Bryant explained. "I had a great run, I played 20 years, it was awesome, I had a great time, we are fortunate enough to win five championships and all that. Now it is somebody else's time. And that is what the Lakers have always been about."

"When I came here, Magic [Johnson] welcomed me with open arms, me and Shaq [O'Neal], and we were able to carry on the tradition with Magic's and Kareem's [Abdul-Jabbar] support and certainly it is our responsibility to pay that forward. So anything that I can do whatsoever to help LeBron bring a championship back to the city of LA, I am all for it."

The Lakers have not featured in the playoffs since 2013 and after a 35-47 record last season, Bryant expects James to not only help them make a deep run during the postseason but also accelerate the development of their current young prospects such as Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma.

"With LeBron on this roster, I don't think it will be much of an issue to make the playoffs," Bryant added. "The dreams are substantially bigger now. LeBron accelerates the learning curve for these young guys and they will be able to learn a lot faster because they will get a chance to watch him work every single day, how he comes to practice, how he takes care of his body and how he handles his nutrition."

"They will be able to learn really, really quickly. This is really going to help Lonzo's and Kyle's growth and the rest of the guys. ... For us to have a player like LeBron here, it just creates so much energy [for the city of Los Angeles and the NBA]. Players like Lonzo and Kyle and others now have that really good pressure to push them forward sooner rather than later. I can't wait to see them respond to it."