LeBron: For Lakers fans, respect must be earned

6:40 PM ET

It wasn’t long after LeBron James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018 that murals popped up around town — only to be vandalized.

It was presumed his prompt elevation to the “King of LA” and to the pantheon of Lakers legends had rubbed some in the loyal Lakers fan base the wrong way.

Now one victory away from leading the storied franchise to its 17th world championship, James reflected on his two seasons with the Lakers and how he has had to earn everything he gets from the purple and gold fan base that also has had a lasting love affair with Kobe Bryant.

“Well, one, what I’ve learned being a Laker is that the Laker faithful don’t give a damn what you’ve done before,” James said on Thursday. “Until you become a Laker, you’ve got to do it with them, as well.”

On Friday in Game 5, the Lakers can win their first world championship since the 2009-10 season. The Lakers lead the Miami Heat 3-1 in this best-of-seven NBA Finals.

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