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LeBron James answers questions wearing a checkered shirt and patterened tie during a press conference after the Heat won against the Thunder in Game 3.
LeBron James has his first NBA championship – and he said it means everything to him.
“It’s everything and more. I dreamed about this opportunity, about this moment for a long time, including last night and including today. And my dream has become a reality now, and it's the best feeling I've ever had," he said.
James and the Miami Heat won the 2012 NBA title with an emphatic Game 5 victory at home over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The celebration began well before the game ended with the Heat up by double digits.
“This right here is the happiest day of my life,” James said in AmericanAirlines Arena after the win.
“These fans, Oh my God, you guys are unbelievable, and this is a dream come true,” James told the crowd.
The three-time NBA MVP added an NBA Finals MVP trophy to his collection, with Boston Celtics great Bill Russell presenting it to him.
James, 27, said in a postgame press conference that he made his own path.
"It was definitely a journey. Everything that went along with me being a high school prodigy when I was 16 on the cover of Sports Illustrated to being the face of a franchise, everything that came along with it, I had to deal with it," he said.
He acknowledged that being called selfish last year got to him. The Heat fell then to the Dallas Mavericks in six games despite being the favorite in that series.
James said he hit rock bottom, but after taking a few weeks off after the 2011 Finals he got back to the gym and got back to work – and that work has paid off a year later.
"All the ups and downs, everything that came along with it, I basically had to figure it out on my own. I’m basically happy, that eight year later, nine years later after I was drafted, that I’m a champion, and that I did it the right way," James said.
Dwyane Wade said last year wasn't the Heat's time.
“And tonight, it was our time," he said.
Wade, 30, said he would appreciate this title much more than the 2006 championship, when he led Miami to the first title in franchise history as the Finals MVP.
“To be back here with this trophy sitting next to me six years later, I’m blessed, I’m lucky," he said.
He said he is proud and really happy for James as he gets his first championship.
"I know what he went through to get to this point. And I know when we got together a lot of people didn’t agree with it," Wade said, but the two of them did.
Meantime, the Heat players let loose in the locker room. Shane Battier danced, Mario Chalmers had a cigar in his mouth, and Chris Bosh wore white frosted eyeglasses that said “Champs” on them.