Orlando, October 12: 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 Miami 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.
"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 organisation, 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 organisation 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."