Just Give Me My Damn Respect
Written By By Dannon Green
January 26, 2020 will go down as one of the most shocking days in Los Angeles and maybe one of the saddest days in America history. It’s the day that the city and the world lost one of the largest sports Icons ever in a tragic death in Calabasas, Ca. Yes, that was the day that Kobe Bryant was killed in a horrific helicopter crash. A total of 9 people died that day which included Kobe’s 13 year old daughter Gianna , it was a terrible day in American history.
When this crash happened the NBA 2019 – 2020 season was just about to go into the All Star Weekend break, nevertheless that weekend would be a very emotional one for everyone involved. Once the initial shock of Kobe’s death was accepted by the Lakers their superstar player Lebron James who idolized him made it his mission to win the NBA Championship in Kobe’s name.
The Lakers from the beginning of the year were not the favorite to win the championship, a matter of fact they weren’t favored to even come out of the Western Conference that would be the Los Angeles Clippers the other team down the hall at the Staple Center. The Clippers who had just signed Kawhi Leonard and Paul George over the summer was the team that players in the league and the public felt would be the team to represent the Western Conference and help the Clippers get over that 50 year hump of never going to the finals.
Sadly for the Clippers they would not reach their goal of even making it to the Conference finals. Why, because the Denver Nuggets had other goals and plans in mind. While the Clippers were getting upset in their second round of the playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers were on a roll beating the Portland Trailblazers, Houston Rockets, and eventually those same Denver Nuggets 4 -1 to make it to the NBA finals. The Lakers and Lebron James were on a mission.
Lebron James who is one of the most polarizing humans and sports figures this country and world has ever known was a basketball child prodigy. Called the chosen at the age of 16 by Sports Illustrated he lived up to every expectation people had for him and even exceeded them considering his very tough humble beginnings. Over his first 15 years in the NBA, James had won three championships, three MVPs and 4 League MVP’s with two different teams, all in the Eastern Conference. An Eastern Conference that many felt wasn’t talented enough to handle the basketball savant in James.
In 2018 James would make a surprising move and sign with the Lakers that would now put his skills against the tough Western Conference that many felt James couldn’t and wouldn’t be successful or able to dominate. Those comments and beliefs would appear true after his first year with the Lakers because they didn’t make the playoffs, though James got hurt during the Christmas game which caused him to be shut down most of the remaining season. That disappointment would put James and the Lakers on a mission to at least make the playoffs this coming season. James would lead the Lakers to the playoffs through one of the worse years in American and Lakers history as I said before. The death of Bryant, the world pandemic from the Corona Virus which shut down the NBA for 4 months, and the Civil unrest in the United States would take a toll on America and the world but through it all the Lakers and their superstar would not get distracted or detoured from reaching their goal of going to the NBA finals.
James would lead the Lakers to the finals to face the surprising Miami Heat the same team James led to two Championships before leaving in a bitter split to go back to Cleveland and lead them to their first sports Championship title in 52 years.
Because of the Covid, the NBA would play in what they call the Bubble; an isolated quarantine arena located in Orlando, Florida. In the finals against the Eastern Conference Champions Miami Heat, James would have an epic battle with Heat’s superstar Jimmy Butler. In the end the Lakers would win the series 4 – 2 with James averaging 28.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and 7.8 assist per game. He would become the first player in history to lead three different teams to the Championship while winning his fourth championship as well as 4 MVP awards. I guess the West wasn’t as tough for him as they said it would be.
Lebron James led the Lakers to their first Championship in 10 years with the help of superstar Anthony Davis. But the magnitude of his achievement still seems to not warrant respect from many. This is because a lot of people in the media and public still can’t accept the fact that James might be the greatest basketball player ever to play the game and possibly eclipse their hero in Michael Jordan.
James who has always been humble and one not to go back and forth with social media critics, sports reporters and announcers who have continually criticized, debated and compared his career to others and sometimes unjustly so, made one of his strongest comments ever to the media and public. When talking about his feelings after winning the Championship, James would say something that only a man who feels he’s not been appreciated for everything he has done on the court might say. In James words himself he says “Coach Vogel wants his respect, the organization wants their respect, Lakers Nation wants their respect and I want my damn respect too.” Yes, with this craziness and a year that has been one of the worse in American History all the number one basketball player in the world who has given the game all he’s got, done so much with his platform on social justice and giving back to his community, in the end all he wants is his “Damn Respect” Congratulations Lebron James not only are you a champion again but you have earn all of our respect.
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