Cleveland icon Jim Brown says LeBron James deserves a statue for winning the title

LeBron James is the toast of the town in Cleveland after ending the city’s 52-year pro sports title drought. But the city’s most iconic sports legend — Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown — believes James deserves more than just a fancy championship ring.

"[Cavs owner Dan] Gilbert is going to give him a statue. He’d better give him a statue," Brown told the Akron Beacon Journal on Monday. "That young man put out so much blood, sweat and tears it’s unbelievable. He gave up his life. He could’ve had a heart attack he was playing so hard. So they’d better give him a statue. That’s the least they could do.

"[He’s] a young man who has taken responsibility on every level –€” community, family, team, organization, city –€” and he’s done it with grace. He’s carried himself well. He has bitten the bullet many times, and it’s paid off for him. His legacy is set, and I’m so happy for him."

James has a great sense of history and showed the utmost respect to Brown during last year’s Finals. The four-time MVP took a moment before Game 3 in Cleveland to bow to Brown, who acknowledged the respectful gesture.

"LeBron has given me a lot of respect, and it hasn’t gone by my ears and eyes," Brown said. "This young man has recognized me as a part of that family, and I’m so happy to go back and show my respect and to enjoy this and show how much we appreciate it and to wave to those fans."

Brown led the Cleveland Browns to the 1964 championship, the last pro title the city has enjoyed until the Cavs’ epic Game 7 win over the defending champion Warriors on Sunday. The iconic running back will be honored this fall, having a statue built in his honor outside FirstEnergy Stadium.