How LeBron opened gates to NBA immortality

‘I want my damn respect’: LeBron’s defiant message as quest to eclipse Michael Jordan continues

“I want my damn respect.”

That was LeBron James’ message to the NBA community after securing his fourth career title and fourth Finals MVP trophy to go along with it after vanquishing the Miami Heat.

In a glittering career that has traversed three different cities and featured a countless number of teammates, James now truly sits in rarefied air after accomplishing something no one has done in NBA history: being the Finals MVP of three franchises.

It is ironic that the one weapon against James in the never-ending basketball GOAT debate, his switching of teams, has now allowed him to achieve something that even Michael Jordan did not do.

James fourth Finals MVP has vaulted him ahead of names such as Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, with Jordan the only man with more Finals MVPs than the 35-year-old Lakers star.

He also joins an exclusive club of players to have won four MVPs, NBA titles and Finals MVPs, a club which features only he and Jordan.

The four-year gap between James’ third and fourth titles is his biggest since breaking through in 2012 with the Heat, and with his advancing age and an odometer which reads close to 60,000 career minutes, there were doubts over whether he would reach the top of the mountain once again.

James himself seemed resigned to the fact that his best days were behind him during the title drought, often referring to the fact that he had nothing left to prove.

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