LeBron James After Winning His Fourth Title: ‘I Want My Damn Respect’

LeBron James won his fourth NBA championship and fourth Finals MVP award on Sunday night after leading the Lakers to a dominant Game 6 win over the Miami Heat.

James had 28 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists in Game 6, and his series averages of 29.8, 11.8, and 8.5 weren’t far off from that as he put forth some tremendous performances against the Heat, most notably in their closeout efforts of Game 5 and Game 6. James has now won a title on every franchise he’s been on in his career, and spoke afterwards about what it meant to him to fulfill his promise to Jeanie Buss as well as to bring Anthony Davis along to this level. After talking about how everyone, from the Lakers organization to the team to Rob Pelinka, deserves to be given their respect, he also made sure to note he too wants his damn respect.

There are few players more keenly aware of their legacies than James, but also few that have been as successful chasing down both individual and team accolades at the same time. It has become almost tired for basketball pundits to talk about how we need to appreciate James doing this in Year 17, but it’s true. What he’s doing is something we’ve never really seen, playing at this level for this long — he passed Derek Fisher for the most playoff games in a career on Sunday with 260, and casually posted a monster triple-double to close out a title.

At this point, those that don’t want to appreciate James are effectively lost causes, but he’s more than earned all the respect and praise he gets from those who shower him with it.