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LeBron James Becomes 4th Player To Win NBA Championship With 3 Different Teams

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Speaking of all-time sporting greats, a moment to bear witness to LeBron James - right? Last night James won his fourth NBA championship as he propelled the Los Angeles Lakers to victory over the Miami Heat. That means he's now won an NBA title with three different teams. He did it in back-to-back years. When he played for Miami...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: When the clock hit triple zeros, what's the first thing that ran through your mind?

LEBRON JAMES: It's about damn time.

CHANG: Then the native of Akron, Ohio, brought a championship to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JAMES: Cleveland, this is for you.

CHANG: And last night he gave the Lakers their 17th title.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JAMES: We just want our respect. Rob wants his respect. Coach Vogel want his respect. Organization want their respect. Laker Nation want their respect and all my damn respect, too.

CHANG: The respect that James is alluding to could be a reference to the hotly debated and freshly resurfaced conversation about basketball's greatest of all time, one which pits younger fans against their elders, fills hours of sports talk TV and makes your local barbershop a much louder, less efficient place. LeBron James may or may not be the greatest of all time, but after 17 seasons, four MVP titles and now a fourth NBA championship at the age of 35, we can all agree he merits plenty of respect.

(SOUNDBITE OF A FOREST MIGHTY BLACK'S "REBIRTH") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.