LeBron James has done it again. On Sunday night, James led the Los Angeles Lakers over the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. The team won their 17th championship in franchise history while James earned his fourth championship. After the game, James, who recorded 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists in the win, talked to ESPN's Rachel Nichols about what this title means to him.
"I told Jeanie [Buss] when I came here that I was gonna put this franchise back in the position where it belongs," he said as reported by CBS Sports. "Her late, great father did it for so many years and she just took it on after that. For me to be a part of such a historical franchise, it's an unbelievable feeling not only for myself, but for my teammates, for the organization, for the coaches, for the trainers, for everybody that's here. We just want our respect. Rob [Pelinka] wants his respect. Coach [Frank] Vogel wants his respect. Our organization wants their respect. Laker Nation wants their respect. And I want my damn respect, too."
James has accomplished a lot in his NBA career but felt like he and his teammates weren't getting the respect they thought they deserved all season. One example is James losing the MVP award to Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who also won the award in 2019. James expressed his frustration to the media about the inconsistent standards he has faced in terms of being voted for MVP.
When it comes down to it, James is a big reason the Lakers are on top of the basketball world. He averaged nearly 30 points in the NBA Finals and averaged 25 points and 10 assists in the regular season. James has won titles with three different teams — one with the Lakers, one with the Cleveland Cavaliers and two with the Miami Heat.
"I can just say that I've never won with this atmosphere," James said when talking about how this championship run was challenging. "None of us have. We've never been a part of this. If you've been here throughout the start — I mean, we got here July 9th. Our ballclub got here July 9th. It's October what — I don't even, October 11th now. So this was very challenging and difficult. It played with your mind. It played with your body. You're away from some of the things that you're so accustomed to make you be the professional that you are. So this is right up there."