The Los Angeles Lakers had their ring ceremony on Opening Night spoiled by the L.A. Clippers in 1 116-109 loss.
The result was not too surprising as head coach Frank Vogel used an 11-man rotation while also experimenting with lineups. The Lakers were down 20 after the first quarter and trailed by as many as 22, but managed to rally back Paul George and Kawhi Leonard carried the Clippers in the second half.
While it was not the way the Lakers wanted to start the 2020-21 season, they were treated to an emotional and well-done ring ceremony before tipoff. Family and friends of players and coaching staff presented the rings via video recordings, with each enjoying the show.
Every year, the championship rings are customized for the team and according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, each detail paid tribute to the Lakers eventful 2019-20 season:
To recognize the 95 days the Lakers spent in the Orlando bubble, there are .95 carats in each of the 17 purple amethyst stones comprising the “L” on the ring’s face — and of course the 17 signifies the 17th championship in franchise history. There are .52 carats of yellow diamonds in every ring, representing the 52 regular-season wins L.A. stacked up.
The word “unity” is etched into every ring, a call to the social justice movement that the entire NBA, not just the Lakers, took on as a cause. The phrase “Leave A Legacy” — the Lakers’ playoff slogan — is also emblazoned in gold in LeBron James’ handwriting on every ring. And Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash along with his daughter, Gianna, and seven others in January, has several tributes on the totem.
As the glamor franchise of the NBA, the Lakers outdid themselves as the rings are worth the most in league history:
“This ring eclipses last year’s NBA championship ring as the most valuable NBA championship ring in history with the most amount of diamond carat weight than any other ring in history,” Arasheben said. “I mean, this ring, we really wanted to make a statement. It’s been 10 years since the Lakers have won. We wanted to come out and really make a statement and really reward these players for a job well done.”
The purple and gold overcame numerous obstacles and tribulations last season, but managed to overcome all of them to get back to the top of the basketball world. Despite the Opening Night setback, they are still poised to repeat as champions.
Lakers will need time to find stride again
The Lakers’ slow start against the Clippers was expected as they were incorporating several new members to the team while LeBron James and Anthony Davis looked like they were working themselves back into shape.
The shortened offseason compounded with the roster turnover means the team will likely be treating the first few weeks as an extended preseason period. However, knowing the coaching staff and players, it should not be too long before they are back up to speed.
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