With their victory over the Miami Heat, the Los Angeles Lakers accomplished their goal and won the 2020 NBA championship.
After going through the worst stretch in franchise history, LeBron James and Anthony Davis have led the Lakers back to the top of the mountain and in doing so, also puts the franchise on even ground with their biggest rival.
In winning their 17th title, the Lakers have tied the Boston Celtics for the most championships in NBA history. Of those, five were won while the team was led by George Mikan in Minneapolis. The Lakers won back-to-back in 1949 and 1950 followed by three straight from 1952-54.
They went on a bit of a championship drought thanks to the Celtics, but in 1972 they won the franchise’s sixth title and first in Los Angeles. That was accomplished by the Hall of Fame trio of Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain and Gail Goodrich.
Things really picked up in the 1980s with the historic ‘Showtime’ era powered by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and James Worthy. The Lakers won championships in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, and 1988, defeating the Celtics for two of those.
The Kobe-Shaq era came next as the Lakers completed a three-peat from 2000-02 led by arguably the greatest duo in NBA history in Shaquille O’Neal and the late, great Kobe Bryant.
Bryant would then bring the Lakers back with Pau Gasol as his co-star, winning back-to-back rings in 2009 and 2010. Unfortunately for the Lakers, the franchise then went into a prolonged playoff drought shortly after.
James and Davis changed the trajectory of the franchise, and with them leading the way, it might not be long until the Lakers overtake the Celtics for the most championships.
That being said, Boston isn’t far from a title themselves, having made the Eastern Conference Finals in three of the last four years. With how fierce the rivalry is, there will definitely be a race for championship No. 18.
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