Basketball and Lakers

Why Lakers’ Win in the NBA Finals Meant Everything for the Franchise

Fans and bettors of the Los Angeles Lakers have been waiting for this long-awaited news: The Lakers have won the NBA Championship! Game after game, Lakers fans have not given up hope that their beloved team will finally get a chance to have that trophy in their hands. And finally, it happened, and everything was worth the wait. In Game 6 of the NBA finals, the Lakers won against Miami Heat with 106-93. 

Lebron James is Crowned MVP

The team might have won the most memorable championship in Lakers history. They now have 17 NBA titles, which means that they tied with the Boston Celtics for the most in league history. A key player that has helped lead the team to victory is none other than Lebron James. At age 35, he was named the NBA finals’ MVP or Most Valuable Player. It’s his fourth time getting the award in his career. In the past 10 seasons, he made his ninth trip to the finals and now James has won four championships with three different franchises. On Sunday evening, he powered through the NBA finals with 28 points, 10 assists and 14 rebounds. He averaged 29.8 points, 8.5 assists and 11.8 rebounds, and shot 59% from the field for the whole series.   

In an interview, James stated, “It doesn’t matter where it happens if you win a championship. A bubble, Miami, Golden State — it doesn’t matter. When you get to this point, it’s one of the greatest feelings in the world for a basketball player to be able to win at the highest level.”

A Long Journey to Success

It was a gruelling and eventful 12 months not just for the Lakers, but the whole world. It was not easy to come this far because a lot of things have happened to lead up to their victory. Here are some of the events that have occurred in the past few months, which makes their win an unforgettable event.

Preseason Trip to China

One of the most controversial events took place on a preseason trip to China. The Lakers had two games against the Nets when it suddenly became an international incident. The Houston Rockets’ general manager, Daryl Morey, had made a tweet that sparked the rage of the Chinese government. He had tweeted his support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters. Because of this, the Lakers were restricted to their hotel for days. When they returned home, James criticised Morey for “misinformed or not really educated on the situation.” This, in turn, also elicited scathing remarks from many fans because it appeared that he was downplaying the relevance of free speech.

Kobe Bryant’s Death

This might be the biggest shock and still the most heartbreaking event for the Lakers and the NBA. Bryant who is considered an icon in basketball and a former Lakers player had died along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna and nine other people in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles. Bryant had spent his whole career with the Lakers, winning five championships before his retirement in 2016. Rob Pelinka, the Lakers’ general manager, and almost all of the current players including James were among Bryant’s closest friends.

Protests Against Police Brutality 

The Lakers and many players of the NBA are not one to back down when it comes to relevant matters such as the “Black Lives Matter” movement. With a huge portion of its players belonging to such a race, it became a huge deal for the team. It was two weeks after the season was indefinitely suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic that protests against police brutality and racial injustice turned the country inside out. Many even questioned whether the NBA season should be cancelled. But, thankfully, that was not the case.     

Those are some of the many events that have transpired. Despite the many setbacks, the Lakers pushed on and have come this far. After 10 years, because of their perseverance, they finally get to have their much-deserved win.

With the Lakers’ success, many fans and bettors are anticipating more wins for the franchise. For trusted sports betting sites, you can check out VOdds Asian sportsbooks. You can rest assured that the best bookmakers of VOdds will give you the most desirable offers to wager on. 

So, count on VOdds’ bookies and register with them today!

Kobe and Gianna

NBA: Gasol Names Daughter Gianna after the Late Kobe Bryant’s Daughter

One of the most memorable events that happened this year for the NBA was the death of Kobe Bryant. Bryant or famously called the “Black Mamba,” was an icon in basketball and will always be a legend among Lakers fans and even in NBA history. 

On January 26th, he and his 13-year old daughter Gianna Bryant or “Gigi”, also nicknamed as Mambacita, and seven others tragically died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. They were travelling to Camarillo Airport for a basketball game at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks. Like her father, Gigi had a passion for basketball and had dreamed of making it into the WNBA. Kobe also had big plans for his daughter and wanted her to reach those dreams. 

A Touching Tribute by Former NBA Teammate

The sweetest way to honour his friend and his daughter, Pau Gasol, gave his newborn daughter the name “Elisabet Gianna Gasol,” her middle name was taken from Gianna Bryant’s name. 

On his Instagram, Gasol posted, “Our little one has finally arrived!! The delivery went really well and we couldn’t be happier!! Elisabet Gianna Gasol, a very meaningful name for our super beautiful daughter!! #girldad.” 

While his wife, Catherine, posted on hers: “Elisabet Gianna Gasol joined our family on September 10th, 2020. She made a quick and easy entrance on a VERY special day, her great-grandmother Elizabeth’s 100th birthday and her mom and dad’s 2nd engagement anniversary. We are already so in love with our sweet Ellie!! #GasolFamilyOf3 #girlmom #girldad #EllieGasol”

What is also touching in these posts is Pau and Catherine’s use of the hashtag #GirlDad. The hashtag trended worldwide as a way for fathers across the globe to pay tribute to Kobe after his death. It was a way to celebrate their relationships with their daughters.

Close Relationship with Kobe

Both Gasol and Kobe had played on the NBA team Los Angeles Lakers from 2008 to 2014. In 2009 and 2010, they had won two NBA championships. The pair remained close until Kobe’s death. In the Players’ Tribune, a collection of stories that was compiled last August, Kobe’s former teammates and players who faced him recounted their experiences and moments with the remarkable basketball player. 

For Gasol, he wrote, “I don’t believe that Kobe ever took a break. It was championship mode, pure and simple. The six and a half years I played with Kobe were my best basketball years. I learned the most about my game, and a big reason was number 24.” 

Many basketball players and fans have been deeply affected by Kobe’s death, but they know that his memory and legacy lives on. The future of basketball is still promising, and legends and icons will rise. But of course, none will ever replace the Black Mamba.

For punters, the NBA games are still starting, and there are many basketball players and teams to support. With our partner, VOdds, you can wager on your favourites. They provide new bookie sign up offers and a 100 EUR first deposit bonus. So, if that sounds appealing, come register with them for an online betting free sign up bonus! 

nick young

3 Most Memorable NBA Locker Room Scandals

The locker room (or dugout for some) is where the most fascinating and outrageous things happen. 

Sportsmanship, on top of friendship and camaraderie, is persistently emphasized. But ego and anger issues may block the way, resulting in some of the nastiest moments in the history of the NBA.

Here some of the NBA controversial, and shocking locker room scandals.

And yes, the higher the shock value, the more memorable the incident became.

1) Gun taunting incident between Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton

And it all started with a card game while on the team plane!

Hotheads prevailed, resulting in claims they—Arenas and Crittenton—were familiar with firearms.

Two days later, during a practice, Arenas brought four guns and taunted Crittenton. Crittenton cocked a gun and pointed it on Arenas. A full standoff started, which was then broken up by the rest of the Washington Wizards especially Caron Butler.

The Wizards suspended both players for the remainder of the season. Arenas and Crittenton also faced gun possession charges.

Arenas continued playing with the team for a couple more seasons.

Crittenton, however, was convicted in 2011 due to voluntary manslaughter. He was involved in the shooting death of a woman in Atlanta.

2) A confrontation between Jermaine O’Neal and Rick Carlisle

It happened after the infamous—yep, you guessed it right—Malice at the Palace. No list of NBA scandals would be complete without mentioning this incident.

The 2004 brawl involved the Indiana Pacers specifically Ron Artest, Ben Wallace, and Stephen Jackson; Detroit Pistons; and their fans.

The intense mood was carried over to Pacers’ locker room. O’Neal, who also threw several punches on that night, yelled at his coach who was also calming players who were still on edge. For O’Neal, Carlisle held the players back and prevented them from fighting for themselves.

Carlisle matched the intensity of O’Neal’s voice, telling him that the staff tried to help. That’s all.

What could’ve been a mini brawl was stopped even before it happened, though.

3) A prank war between D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young

Gone too far a prank, Russell probably didn’t realize the consequences of him recorded his teammate, Young, while the latter was confessing about his cheating of then-fiance Iggy Azalea. Young was unaware that he was being recorded.

The scandal broke when the video was released publicly. The clip showed Russell asking, almost provoking, Young to confess about being and sleeping with other women who were not his ex-fiance.

As if it wasn’t cringe-worthy enough, Russell received the cold shoulder treatment from his teammates. Based on reports, Russell was forced to eat alone at one point. When he sat beside veterans, they would also walk away.

At the franchise level, there had been speculations about trust issues involving him.

It was also an antagonizing moment because the team was supposed to celebrate the exit of Kobe Bryant. This was one of the darkest times in the team’s history. 

Russell also bore the stigma of what he did until today. 

Featured Image Source

These are our choices, but if you are to pick the most unforgettable locker room scandals in the NBA, which one will you choose?