LeBron James spoke his mind about the constant criticism he has drawn despite being one of the best players in the world.
An emphatic reaction to an emphatic finish by James and the Los Angeles Lakers to the 2020 NBA Finals.
"We just want our respect. (Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka) wants his respect. Coach (Frank) Vogel want his respect. Organization want their respect. And I want my damn respect," James said, as the Lakers celebrated winning the championship against the Miami Heat on Sunday (US time).
For his incredible, age-defying run in the title series, James was adjudged Finals MVP and it wasn't even close.
That's his 3rd such individual trophy for a 3rd different team, adding to his 4th championship and scores of other accolades.
The 17-year veteran raised eyebrows for moving to Los Angeles and his detractors assumed he wanted to be in California to engage in other businesses other than basketball.
An injury derailed his first season with the Lakers, fueling further belief that the 35-year-old was washed.
But in the preseason, the Lakers gifted James with the acquisition of superstar big man Anthony Davis and surrounded them with heady role players that resulted in the best record in the West.
James put up vintage numbers during the playoffs, but saved his best for the title series against the Heat.
He finished with 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for his 28th post-season triple-double, just 2 behind Lakers legend Magic Johnson's league-leading 30.
For all the mileage he has collected over the years, James never showed any signs of slowing down in these playoffs, proof his unrelenting drive to win his fourth championship.
As soon as the buzzer sounded, James, putting on his championship cap and shirt, looked at the TV camera following him and apparently had a message to those belittling his achievements.
"What they gonna say now, huh? What can they say?"