Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James says he knows what comes with his name and what people expect from him in the playoffs. James, a three-time NBA champion, delivered for the Lakers in their Western Conference semifinals series against the Houston Rockets as the Lakers won 4-1 to progress into the Western Conference Finals.
The Rockets won 112-97 Game 1 but then James stepped up and helped the Lakers win four games in a row and continue their title bid. In Game 5, James scored 29 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out seven assists as the Lakers demolished the Rockets 119-96 to close out the series.
"I know what my name, my stature, and what I've done in this league comes with whenever I decide to join a franchise," James said, per ESPN. "I know what my name comes with. And it comes with winning. I take that responsibility to the utmost [more] than anything.
... "I understand the Laker faithful and what they felt or maybe were going through over the, I want to say the last decade, of not being in the postseason, not competing for championships or whatever the case may be.
I took that responsibility as well."
James locked in on winning it all
The Lakers, a 16-time NBA champion, haven't won it all since they captured back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. This season, James led the Lakers to their first playoff appearance since 2013 and now he wants to help them go all the way.
"Just keeping the main thing the main thing. And for us it's the opportunity to play for a championship. That's what we're all here for. That's what we all signed up for," James added. "We have guys step up at times and we all feed off one another.
It's very important and very key for our ballclub." The Lakers were the best team in the league before the NBA season was suspended but they struggled with their form once the season restarted in Orlando. "It just takes a little time to jell.
We had four months off and obviously the guys had to get their legs back under them, rhythm and timing, all those types of things," Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. "But the confidence that I've had in this group has been strong all the way through and I'm excited about what we can accomplish going forward, not just what we've accomplished thus far."