LeBron James explains why he demanded respect after Lakers won title
LeBron James has had no shortage of critics and naysayers throughout his prolific NBA career, an arguable case of bias that the Los Angeles Lakers superstar has had to unfairly confront given the extent of his accomplishments and impact upon the game.
After the Lakers closed out the Miami Heat in six games in the NBA Finals, a defiant James demanded his respect over his perception that he’s perpetually maligned by some pundits, analysts, television talking heads and the like despite being the best basketball player of his generation.
"I want my damn respect too." –LeBron James pic.twitter.com/yswlex0U8M— ESPN (@espn) October 12, 2020
The 16-time All-Star, 13-time All-NBA First Team, four-time NBA MVP and four-time Finals MVP was asked about his infamous appeal during an appearance this week on the "Road Trippin'" podcast, and the Lakers star was happy to explain the situation at length.
“For me personally after all that I’ve accomplished still in this league there’s a conversation of like doubt. And I can hear and I can see it,” James said, as transcribed by TalkBasket.net.
“... Just from people that really ... that the basketball world because there’s people on TV and there’s writers that write that people in the basketball world really listen to and they really believe. I’m not going to give any of those names on this show because they don’t deserve it. That continue to discredit or continue to not to understand what the drive that I put into it.
“They talk about these players ‘He doesn’t have that same drive as him’ or ‘He doesn’t have have that same mentality as those if he did…’ and they see what I continue to accomplish. So it was a reassurance to myself. But it was also like to the naysayers and to the haters which will always be there even after I’m done playing.”
James' résumé unquestionably places him among the greatest basketball players of all time. It's possible being anointed as such even before he proved himself in the NBA provided his doubters and detractors ample ammunition to diminish every accomplishment and career benchmark or success that came along.
That certainly doesn't make any of their LeBron hot takes correct, nor does it mean that they will stop deriding the superstar and his achievements anytime soon. That said, it's clear the criticism has an impact on James.