The Lakers Are on Top Once Again

The Los Angeles Lakers win their 17th NBA Championship

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Creative Commons: Luke Harold

Eric Hayrapetian, Staff Writer

A season far from any other, 22 NBA teams were placed in a “bubble” after about four and a half months of no basketball being played in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. For three long and demanding months, these 22 teams competed for a championship. The Los Angeles Lakers, led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, rose to the occasion last night to win their 17th NBA Championship, tying their long time rival, the Boston Celtics, for the most all-time championship wins.

After an underwhelming season last year and not making the playoffs, the Lakers came back this season with a fighting spirit and made a spectacular playoff run. They went up against the Portland Trailblazers, the Houston Rockets, and the Denver Nuggets in their first three series matchups, in which they won all of them in five games. 

In the finals, the dominant Lakers were matched up against one of Lebron’s former teams, the youthful and talented Miami Heat. The Lakers defeated the Heat in game six of the NBA Finals Sunday night, 106 to 93, ultimately winning the series four games to two. LeBron James was announced as the Finals MVP averaging 29.8 points, 8.5 assists, and 11.8 rebounds throughout the series. His partner in crime, Anthony Davis, was no slouch with 25 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game in his first-ever finals appearance. Davis also took it upon himself to guard the Heat’s best player, Jimmy Butler, who put up one of the greatest triple-doubles in NBA Finals history in game three. Despite Butler having an outstanding performance in the finals, it was not enough to defeat the Lakers. 

Not only was it a memorable night for the Lakers, who won their 17th championship, but for LeBron James as well. James in his 17th year at age 35 won his fourth ring on his third team. James silenced his critics and put all doubt aside last night, showing that he is still one of the, if not the greatest player in the league. He also added to his already astonishing resume another championship ring, and a Finals MVP, making his case for the greatest basketball player of all time even stronger.

The last time the Lakers made the playoffs was seven years ago in 2013, and three years before that they made a finals appearance, in which they won their 16th NBA Championship. Both of those Laker teams were led by none other than the late Kobe Bryant who passed away alongside his daughter, Gianna Bryant, with seven other passengers on a horrific helicopter crash back in January. After snapping a seven-year drought of missing the playoffs and not appearing in a finals series in ten years, the Los Angeles Lakers fulfilled their goal that they set out in January, to dedicate their season and hopeful championship in honor of the great Kobe Bryant. LeBron James made it his responsibility to carry on the legacy that Kobe Bryant had left behind in the NBA world and he delivered, leading the Lakers back to the promised land and bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy to the city of Los Angeles last night. All of it was done “for Kobe”.

 

Eric Hayrapetian can be reached at: [email protected]du