After the Lakers were eliminated from playoff contention last season with a 35-47 record, LeBron James commented on Instagram that their postseason drought “[wouldn’t] last much longer.”
Seven years since their last playoff appearance and a decade since their last championship, the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat 106-93 in Game 6 of the Finals to secure their 17th title in franchise history, tying the Boston Celtics for most all time championships and putting a memorable end to an unforgettable season.
Anthony Davis had 19 points, 15 rebounds and three assists. LeBron James had 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists and was named the 2020 NBA Finals MVP.
Before the season even started, the Lakers already had championship expectations when they acquired Davis in an offseason trade. Thanks in part to their new head coach, Frank Vogel, they lived up to those expectations, amassing a 52-19 record in the regular season and securing the title.
After the tragic death of Laker legend Kobe Bryant sent a shock throughout not only the Lakers organization but also the entire NBA and world, the purple and gold became more motivated than ever to hang another banner in the rafters of Staples Center. Paying their respects to Kobe and playing in his honor, the Lakers donned their new “Mamba” jerseys, all black jerseys with snakeskin that reflected Kobe’s nickname, the “Black Mamba,” multiple times throughout the playoffs.
During their quest for a championship, the Lakers faced the Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference playoffs, defeating all of them 4 games to 1, and then taking down Miami in the finals 4 game to 2.
With this title, each of the last three decades has begun with a Laker championship, with the Lakers winning bringing the Larry O’Brien trophy to L.A. in 2000, in 2010 and now in 2020.
Many expect the LakeShow to repeat as champions next season, but only time will tell if they are ready to face yet another year of a loaded Western Conference and to surpass their rival Celtics to become the winningest NBA-finals franchise in history.
Nonetheless, Lakers fans everywhere will appreciate and enjoy this title for the remainder of 2020 until the next season starts. Loyola students & teachers commented on what this title meant for Laker fans as well as the city of LA in such an unprecedented year.
“Not only does winning this title for Kobe sound like a perfect ending, but it proves that even through the darkest times we can still come out victorious”
-Nick Green, Senior
“This championship means everything. For the Lakers fan base, this championship is the light at the end of a dark tunnel. Lakers fans had to endure unfamiliar mediocrity and lack of playoff contention for years, so this victory acts as the answer to all of our hopes and dreams. For the city of Los Angeles, this championship provides a rare bright spot in a year full of tragedy. The win gives this city a moment of unity and celebration in the midst of the greater problems of social injustice and coronavirus. Additionally, this championship serves as a tribute to the beloved Kobe Bryant.”
-Sam Yoon, Junior