Written by Carter Weissenfluh
The Los Angeles Lakers have found themselves in familiar territory after winning their 17th championship in franchise history. There were a lot of emotions and obstacles on this championship run for the team, primarily with the season being cut short due to COVID-19 which left players unsure if they were going to ever finish this season. A few months later, the NBA provided a bubble in Orlando, Fl. where all teams worthy of the playoffs went to compete for a title. Only one of those teams finished on top above everyone else.
During the Lakers run in the playoffs, they needed as much motivation as they could get considering all they had in the bubble were themselves- no family members or fans were allowed. It was just the teams and a basketball court competing for a championship. The team brought out the Black Mamba jerseys for the late, great Kobe Bryant. Players like Anthony Davis said, “when we have that jersey on, we feel that we can’t lose and that he (Kobe) is watching down on us.” This Lakers team looked like they were on a mission once the playoffs started and didn’t stop until they finished the job.
Lebron James’ goal when joining the Lakers was to deliver a championship as he has done with every franchise he has played for. He was able to accomplish that goal this year, as he captured his 4th championship and 4th finals MVP. James touched on how much this title meant to, not only him, but the entire franchise considering everything that had happened in 2020. This championship now puts the Lakers on par with their longtime rival the Boston Celtics. Both historic franchises now possess a league-high 17 championships.
After beating the Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, and Denver Nuggets in just 5 games each, the Lakers proved that they were fully prepared to take on such strange circumstances. The Miami Heat, a scrappy 5-seed that played very team-oriented basketball, provided the Lakers with their toughest matchup in the bubble, pushing the series to 6 games. The Lakers and the Heat had been isolated from family and friends for over 100 days, though the NBA did allow at one point for every player in the bubble to have one family member, friend, or significant other join them in Orlando.
As the Lakers celebrate their win and await their parade on the newly named Kobe Bryant boulevard outside the Staples Center arena, they will be looking to keep the dynamic duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James together in hopes of a repeat next season. This duo has the potential to be as good as the legendary Shaq and Kobe duo who provided three straight titles for the Lakers in the early 2000s. It will be interesting to see if the Lakers will be able to pull off a repeat.