Notable free-agent signings in Los Angeles history

A look at some of the biggest free-agent signings in Los Angeles sports history:


LeBron James (agreed to sign four-year, $154-million contract for 2018-2019 season). Played with the Cleveland Cavaliers the last four seasons and is a four-time NBA MVP, three-time NBA Finals MVP and 14-time NBA All-Star.


Jamaal Wilkes (signed before 1977 season): Spent eight seasons with the team, member of three Lakers championship teams and was inducted into the Hall of Fame and had his number retired by the team in 2012.

Rick Fox (one year, $1 million in 1997): Spent seven seasons with the team and was a key member of three NBA title teams.

Shaquille O’Neal (seven years, $121 million in 1996): There’s a statue of him outside Staples Center, so yes, he was a pretty big signing. Helped win three more titles.

Gary Payton (one year, $4.9 million in 2003): He helped to Lakers to the NBA Finals in his only season with the team. After exercising a $5.4-million contract to return, the Lakers traded him to Boston.

Karl Malone (one year, $1.5 million in 2003): Looking for his first NBA title, Malone joined Payton, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant in L.A., but they couldn’t get past Detroit in the Finals after Malone was injured.


Kirk Gibson (three years, $4.5 million in 1988): Led the Dodgers to the World Series in his first season with the team.

Darryl Strawberry (five years, $20.25 million in 1991): Had a solid first season, then injuries and drug problems led to him playing only 75 more games with the Dodgers.

Hideo Nomo (minor league deal in 1995): Won Rookie of the Year in 1995, the year “Nomomania” was born.

Kevin Brown (seven years, $105 million in 1999): Has some good-to-outstanding seasons with the team before wearing out his welcome and being traded to the Yankees for Jeff Weaver and Yhency Brazoban in 2003.


Joe Namath (signed in 1977): Team hoped quarterback could bring his “Broadway Joe” magic to Los Angeles, but his knees were wrecked and he lost his job to Pat Haden after four games.


Reggie Jackson (five years, $5 million in 1982): “Mr. October” came to Anaheim and helped the team win two division titles, but he couldn’t get them into the World Series.

Mo Vaughn (six years, $80 million in 1999): Got injured in his first game and seemed generally cursed with the team. Was traded to the Mets after missing the 2001 season because of injuries.

Vladimir Guerrero (five years, $70 million in 2004): Was AL MVP in his first season and will be the first person to go into the Hall of Fame wearing an Angels cap when he is inducted this summer.


Scott Niedermayer (four years, $6.75 million in 2005): He took less money than others were offering to come to Anaheim, win a title and play with his brother. In his second season, the Ducks won the Stanley Cup and Niedermayer was the MVP of the playoffs.


David Beckham (five years, $32.5 million in 2007): Injuries ruined his first couple of season and fans started booing him, but he turned that around and helped the team win two MLS titles.