LeBron James Discusses Kobe Bryant’s Legacy and Lakers in 2020 NBA Finals

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Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James sits on the floor as he waits for the trophy ceremony to start after the Lakers beat the Denver Nuggets in an NBA conference final playoff basketball game Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Lakers won 117-107 to win the series 4-1. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Up 2-0 in the 2009 NBA Finals, Kobe Bryant sat at a podium and said the Los Angeles Lakers‘ job wasn’t finished.

Heading to his first Finals as a Laker, LeBron James is echoing the same sentiment.

“The job is not done, but it’s great to hit moments throughout the course of a journey and appreciate that. This is all part of the process, but the job is not done for me personally. For us, as a franchise, I am extremely proud to be a part of this franchise getting back to where it belongs…this is what I came here for.”

James acknowledged that he heard all of the public criticism of his move to the Lakers, including accusations he signed in Los Angeles for reasons other than basketball. He says his hope is the Lakers’ run puts those talks to rest but acknowledged that likely won’t happen until he captures his fourth ring.

The Lakers are making their first Finals appearance since 2010, when Bryant captured his fifth and final ring. James talked about what the late Lakers legend means to him and their similarities, saying their drive to be the best is what separ