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‘I want my damn respect’: LeBron James makes his case after fourth NBA championship, Finals MVP

LeBron James said he wanted respect after leading the Los Angeles Lakers to their first NBA championship in 10 years.

James posted a triple-double of 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists as the Lakers crushed the Heat 106-93 on Sunday to seal a 4-2 series win in the NBA Finals.

The 35-year-old won his fourth title and was later named the NBA Finals MVP for the fourth time in his career. James was delighted to bring the Lakers a 17th championship, saying he — and the franchise — wanted to be respected.

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“It means a lot. It means a lot to represent this franchise,” he told ESPN.

“I told Jeanie [Buss, Lakers owner] when I came here that I was going to put this franchise back in a position where it belongs. Her late, great father did it for so many years and she just took it on after that and for me to be part of such a historical franchise is an unbelievable feeling, not only for myself, but for my team-mates, for the organization, for the coaches, for the trainers, everybody that’s here.

“We just want our respect. Rob [Pelinka, Lakers general manager] wants his respect, coach [Frank] Vogel wanted his respect, our organization want their respect, Laker Nation want their respect and I want my damn respect too.”

James’ fourth NBA title and Finals MVP further cemented his place among the greatest players of all-time. But, the 16-time All-Star said he simply wanted to continue delivering for his team-mates.

“One thing I can do is commit to the game. I put myself, my body and my mind in position to be available to my team-mates,” James said. “I’ve never missed a playoff game in my career and the best thing you can do for your team-mates is be available.

“For me to be available to my team-mates and put in the work, I just hope I make my guys proud and that’s all that matters to me. I make my guys proud, make the fan base proud, my family back home, I can’t wait to get back home to them, Akron, Ohio, we did it again and that’s what it’s all about.”

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