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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