Sunday night is one that will be remembered forever in Los Angeles Lakers history as they defeated the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals to clinch the franchise’s 17th championship, tying the Boston Celtics for the most all-time.
It was a long road for the Lakers to get back to this stage after last winning the title in 2010. After a lengthy rebuild, they finally entered the championship picture again this season thanks to LeBron James and Anthony Davis, two of the league’s biggest superstars.
Beyond the normal challenges that come with winning a championship, doing so this season was unprecedented. Not only did the Lakers and other teams have to deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that put the season on hold, but they were also playing with heavy hearts the whole time after franchise legend Kobe Bryant and is daughter Gianna tragically passed away in January.
Since Bryant’s death, the Lakers made it clear that they wanted to win the championship to honor him, and they were able to accomplish exactly that. It’s unfortunate L.A. didn’t close the series out in Game 5 while wearing the Black Mamba uniform that Bryant designed, but of course winning is the most important thing and they were able to get it done in Game 6.
Every team that wins the NBA Championship celebrates appropriately, and that was especially the case for the Lakers, who overcame all adversity they faced over the last year to accomplish their one and only goal.
— NBA (@NBA) October 12, 2020
— NBA (@NBA) October 12, 2020
LeBron James FaceTimes his mother Gloria after winning his fourth title: “Everything that you had been through, everything that I had seen, there’s nothing that can stop me. I hope I continue to make you proud, Mom.” pic.twitter.com/4WfiDbwslW
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 12, 2020
— Phil Handy (@94feetofgame) October 12, 2020
— ESPN (@espn) October 12, 2020
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) October 12, 2020
This marks James’ fourth career championship and he becomes the first player to win Finals MVP with three different franchises. He embraced the Lakers fanbase as soon as he came to the team two years ago and delivered on his promise, solidifying himself as an all-time great.
As for Davis, this was his first opportunity to prove himself on the biggest stage and he did not disappoint. If not for James, Davis easily could have been a Finals MVP but the hope is he will have plenty of more opportunities to take home that award as a member of the Lakers.
Not to be overlooked are Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka and head coach Frank Vogel. Both were heavily criticized last offseason but drowned out all the noise and guided the Lakers through all of the adversity to get to this point.
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