The Los Angeles Lakers overcame several different obstacles en route to their 2019-20 NBA Championship. From landing in China in the midst of a controversial tweet to the death of Kobe Bryant, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and finally, to the Orlando bubble, the Lakers had arguably the roughest road to a title in NBA history.
It was a dominant playoff run, to say the least as Los Angeles stomped through the Western Conference, winning each series in five games before ultimately beating the Miami Heat in six games of the 2020 NBA Finals to capture the franchise’s 17th championship. While the players received their rings on Opening Night of the 2020-21 season, the team decided to wait to hoist the championship banner until they had fans in attendance at Staples Center.
However, the wait to raise their banner came to an end as the Lakers finally got to see the last piece of their historic championship go up in the rafters before their game against the Houston Rockets in a nice ceremony.
It was a highly anticipated moment for Lakers Nation that did not disappoint and it was good to see the Lakers players and staff revel in the moment. LeBron James and Anthony Davis each said a few words to commemorate the occasion, with each of the team captains mentioning that the road to defend their title starts next week.
Despite all the injuries and lack of continuity and chemistry, Los Angeles is still considered to be one of the favorites to come away with the 2021 NBA Championship. Although James and Davis are still nursing ankle and groin injuries, respectively, the superstar tandem should be able to suit up this weekend for what will amount to be tune-up games.
The current season has not been easy by any stretch and although the Purple and Gold will likely enter the 2021 NBA Playoffs as a lower seed, they have every right in the world to feel confident about their chances of repeating.
James on banner ceremony: ‘better late than never’
After the banner ceremony, James took to Instagram to celebrate the night and again alert Lakers fans of the journey ahead to defend the title:
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The Lakers’ title hopes depend on James’ health, so hopefully he is nearing a return and will be back to his normal self sooner rather than later.
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