Less than 24 hours after officially becoming a free agent, LeBron James announced his intention to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. It was a far cry from his two previous forays into free agency when the NBA had to wait more than a week to discover where the world’s best basketball player was headed.

James’ decision was one that many have seen coming since the Cleveland Cavaliers were swept in the 2018 NBA Finals. There was speculation over a year ago that James would go to L.A. once the opportunity became available to him. The writing had been on the wall for some time, and the Cavs operated for much of the 2017-2018 season like it could be James’ last with the team, even as they pursued another championship.

While just about every team would want James on their roster, the four-time MVP ultimately picked the Lakers over three other destinations. He could’ve stayed in Cleveland, where he’s spent 11 of his 15 NBA seasons. James had the chance to sign with the Philadelphia 76ers, who’ve got two budding superstars and the cap space necessary to offer a max contract. The Houston Rockets were also an option after they nearly dethroned the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, though that would’ve been a complicated choice since the team has no cap space and would’ve had to manufacture a trade.

Why did James ultimately land on the Lakers?

It’s certainly not a decision that gives James his best chance to win a championship, at least not yet anyway. Houston is a ready-made title contender with James Harden and Chris Paul. Philadelphia finished two games ahead of James and Cleveland in last season’s standings, and they would’ve become the clear favorites in the East.

James didn’t have a realistic chance to win another title in Cleveland in the immediate future. He dragged a weak supporting cast to last season’s Finals, where the team stood no chance. With little flexibility to make changes because of lengthy contracts, the roster would’ve largely stayed the same.

Los Angeles is a step up from Cleveland basketball-wise. The team missed the playoffs with a 35-47 record, though they’ve got a young core of players that should improve. Add the league’s best player to that roster and you’ve certainly got a team that’s going to the playoffs.

That’s all you can say for sure about James’ new team as he moves to the West from the East, where he made eight straight NBA Finals appearances. The Lakers still have three fewer All-Stars than the defending champs, and their most important players other than James don’t even have playoff experience.

Perhaps that will change this offseason with Kawhi Leonard available. The Lakers can offer the San Antonio Spurs an appealing trade offer for their superstar, who has made it clear he wants to play in Los Angeles. James and Leonard would be the makings of a team that could compete with Kevin Durant and Golden State.

James might have to wait a year to play with another superstar when Leonard and others are set to hit free agency. It’s not just possible, but likely, that the league’s top star won’t participate in the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.

The Lakers shouldn’t be in this spot for long. They might even be the favorites to win the 2020 NBA Finals. James will be 35 years old then and one step closer to no longer being among the league’s top players.

There are basketball-related reasons for James to be excited about his future with the Lakers, but this decision was about far more than what he can accomplish on the court.

James is from Northeast Ohio, but Los Angeles is already his second home. He owns two houses in Brentwood, most recently purchasing a $23 million mansion late last year.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst indicated Sunday that James’ wife, Savannah, wanted to be in L.A. According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, James’ son will attend Sierra Canyon High School, which is known for its basketball prowess. It’s no secret that James hopes to play with his son on an NBA team in a few years.

Then there are James’ ventures outside of basketball. He owns his production company (SpringHill Entertainment) and sports media company (Uninterrupted). He’s starred in movies and has aspirations of becoming a billionaire. Joining the Lakers puts him in Los Angeles and allows him to join forces with team president Magic Johnson, who also went from an all-time great NBA player to a successful businessman.

Johnson met with James at his Brentwood home as soon as free agency officially began late Saturday night, according to multiple reports. Just days after guaranteeing he would bring a superstar to the Lakers, Johnson fulfilled his promise.

James thanked the fans of Cleveland in a short Instagram post, claiming Northeast Ohio will always be his home. He’s now off to Los Angeles, where the next chapter of his career awaits.