Basketball and Lakers

Why the 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.

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Kobe and Gianna

Gasol Names Daughter after Former NBA Teammate Kobe Bryant’s Daughter Gianna

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.

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Coach at Court

4 Famous NBA Coaches in Basketball History

The National Association of Basketball Coaches had announced that Craig Robinson, a collegiate basketball coach for years and is also known to be Michelle Obama’s brother, will replace Jim Haney as the head of the organization. Robinson most recently worked for the NBA’s New York Knicks.

In an interview, he stated, “I’m extremely honored and excited for this tremendous and vital opportunity. I look forward to the challenges ahead.”

When it comes to basketball, it’s not just the players that make up the team. Their coaches also serve as guides when playing the game. They are the ones who strategize and help the players overcome their opponents. You can say that they are vital to every team’s success. So, here are some of the best NBA coaches that have made their mark in basketball history.

Phil Jackson

Many think of Phil Jackson as the greatest coach of all time. This is because he retired with 11 championships under his belt. He was also known for having coached some of the best players. These include Jordan, Kobe, Shaq, and Pippen. His record is an amazing 1,155-485. Jackson also won the NBA Coach of the Year Award in the 1995-1996 season. And in 2007, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. 

Red Auerbach

This basketball coach is known as the “Godfather of the NBA.” For over 30 years, he was the coach and executive of the Boston Celtics and has helped them win 9 championships, 8 of which were consecutive titles from 1959 to 1966. Auerbach had always understood the relevance of defense. He was the one who planned a pre-draft trade for Russell, who is still the best defensive center in league history. He has a record of 823-426, and in 1956 he won the NBA Coach of the Year Award. In 1969, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.  

Pat Riley

Pat Riley was the NBA head coach for the Lakers during the ’80s. You could not miss the guy who was widely known for his slick backed hair and Armani suits. He had a career as an NBA coach for 24 years. He worked with the Lakers, who he won 4 championships with, the Knicks and the Heat, who he also won 1 championship with. This 5th win of his was done with the help of Dwayne Wade and Shaq in 2006. Many consider it a mix of style, which is why he’s considered such a formidable coach. Riley has a record of 1,210-694. He won the NBA Coach of the Year three times (1990, 1993 and 1997). In 2008, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Gregg Popovich

In 1996, Popovich was the general manager of the Spurs until he fired Bob Hill and became the NBA head coach himself. It proved to be the right decision because, in his 13-year career as a coach, he had helped the San Antonio Spurs win 4 championships and achieve 633 wins with only 305 losses. Popovich is also known to work well with Tim Duncan, which is one of the reasons why they had won all those championships. He has a record of 797-383 and is eligible to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.   

Considering all of these outstanding NBA coaches, no one can deny their significance in the game. This is also one of the many factors that basketball fans and bettors consider when choosing their teams.

For instance, sports bettors will look for new sportsbooks or top online bookies to place their bets on a certain basketball team. One of the many things that they could factor in is how well rounded the team is. They will take into consideration the stats of not just the team but the coaches as well. This is because NBA coaches are also the ones who help plan how the game will go and what would be the better strategy for a winning outcome.  

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