Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James hopes he has made the late Kobe Bryant "proud" after leading his team to winning the NBA championship. Bryant, who tragically lost his life in a helicopter accident in January, won five NBA titles with the Lakers and he will always be remembered as an all-time Laker great.
In his second season with the Lakers, James led the team to their first NBA championship since 2010. When Bryant tragically lost his life, James promised he would continue his legacy.
James said it was a tough and challenging run
The NBA suspended the season mid-March before it restarted in late-July.
But James stayed locked in focused during the whole period and it eventually paid off as he led the Lakers past the Miami Heat 4-1 in the NBA Finals. "This was very challenging, and very difficult," James said after winning the title, per ESPN.
"It played with your mind, and it played with your body. You're away from some of the things you're so accustomed to [that] make you the professional you are. "This is right up there with one of the greatest accomplishments I have."
James, 35, claimed his fourth NBA title with a third different team. James heard all the talk and he wanted to show everyone that he was still one of the best players in the league. "I think, personally, thinking I have something to prove fuels me," James said.
"And it fueled me over this last year and a half since my injury. "It fueled me because no matter what I've done in my career up until this point, there's still rumblings of doubt, or comparing me to the history of the game, and, 'Has he done this? Has he done that?' "So, having that in my head, having that in my mind, saying to myself, 'Why not still have something to prove?' I think it fuels me."
James was separated from his family for three months while he was in the NBA bubble in Orlando. "It's probably been the most challenging thing I've ever done as far as a professional, as far as committing to something and actually making it through," James said of playing in the bubble.
"But I'm here for one reason and one reason only, and that's to compete for a championship. That was my mindset once I entered the bubble. ... I've been as locked in as I've ever been in my career."