When the NBA Finals roll around each year it serves as a an opportunity for players to either add to their championship collection, or win their very first. Many athletes say there is no feeling like winning that first championship, and former Los Angeles Lakers player and head coach Byron Scott remembers his first vividly.
Drafted in 1983, Scott joined a Lakers team coming off an NBA Finals loss the previous season, and would then lose in the Finals again in 1984 to the hated Boston Celtics.
In 1985, the Lakers was determined to make sure it didn’t happen again and that’s exactly what they did, defeating the Celtics in six games.
Scott recently spoke about the moment on ESPN’s “The Jump,” reflecting on the emotions, and how special it was to win in Boston:
“It’s such an unbelievable moment when you finally reach that goal […] I remember going into a little room in the back and just getting a moment for myself. I didn’t cry. I just wanted to sit there and really take in exactly what just happened. For me, my first one, we were in Boston. So winning it there was the best. To beat them in their city, on their home court, then go out and party in their town, that was the best! To sit there afterward and say, ‘Man oh man, I’m an NBA champion.’ There’s no greater feeling in sports than to get to the pinnacle where you won and you are the best at what you do.”
Scott added that he felt both relief and joy in winning that first championship:
“The relief of beating the Celtics first of all, because we were the first Laker team to do it. We did that for Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor and all the great Lakers before us who hadn’t been able to achieve that goal. So that was the relief part. And the joy of just winning a championship and being on top of the world. There’s just not a greater feeling.”
Scott played a huge role for the Lakers in their run as one of the team’s best scorers and primary defenders. He added a big boost of speed and athleticism to the team that was very much needed.
He would go on to win two more titles with the Lakers, but there is no doubt that first one will always be remembered as much, if not more than the rest.
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