(Lakers Celebrate Championship/ Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/ Getty Images)
In a televised broadcast on ABC, the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA Finals on Sunday night defeating the Miami Heat 106-93, taking the series four games to two and securing the Los Angeles Lakers 17th championship.
This finale brings an end to a season that was left in uncertainty as the coronavirus pandemic almost cut the season short.
With the NBA forming a “bubble” at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Florida, basketball was able to continue. Following strict health guidelines and NBA sanctioned rules, the season was able to resume, without playing in front of fans.
After 172 games over three months, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has reported that there were “zero positive COVID-19 tests.”
LeBron James was crowned the Finals MVP for the fourth time in his career as well as becoming the first player in NBA history to win the award with three different teams.
“I told (Lakers owner Jeanie Buss) when I came here, I was going to put this franchise back in the position where it belongs. To be part of such a historical franchise, it’s just an unbelievable feeling,” James said in a live televised interview with ESPN following the game.
James who averaged 28.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game didn’t bring home the title all himself. With help from Anthony Davis who helped bring in 25 points as well as 11 rebounds per game, he proved to be a dominant force in the paint for the Lakers all playoffs.
The supporting cast of players like Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso, Danny Green, Kyle Kuzma, Markieff Morris and Dwight Howard all played big roles in these Finals bringing not only sharpshooting and fast paced energy, but veteran experience that was able to rout the young Miami Heat players.
This victory represents much more than another banner to hang from rafters inside the Staples Center, following the untimely death of five-time champion and Lakers legend Kobe Bryant’s as well as his daughter, Gigi, and seven others who were killed in the helicopter crash in January.
The Lakers team made it known that this season was for Kobe and the Bryant family as players wore armbands and finger tape with the number 24 and 2 on them and all Lakers jerseys held the initials “KB” on the upper chest area of the players jerseys.
This Lakers team would often re-state the now famous 2009 postseason comments from Bryant as their motivation throughout the title run, saying the “job’s not finished” during postgame interviews to the media.
Now, the job is finished, and the Los Angeles Lakers are currently tied with the Boston Celtics for most championships of all time (17).
According to a report from TMZ Sports, Los Angeles County and city officials are not ready to hold a huge victory parade until the COVID-19 pandemic is over. The idea of a “car parade” was brought up but it was soon dismissed.
Despite the warning from public health officials and uncertain plans for a parade, Lakers fans were seen flooding the streets of LA celebrating the return of the Larry O’brien trophy back to its rightful home, Los Angeles.