After an almost year-long season, the death of a legend and life in the NBA bubble, the Los Angeles Lakers have finally won their first championship since 2010.
The moves the team made to get to this very moment have paid off. Trading away four first-round draft picks and several players for Anthony Davis was a big step toward a championship.
The world lost all-time great Kobe Bryant in February. But the organization used this tragedy as fuel to make him proud. The 52-19 record and a number one seed in the Western Conference was a sign of what was to come in the playoffs.
With Davis and LeBron James leading the way, the Lakers cruised through the first round of the playoffs against the Portland Trailblazers, then the second round against the Houston Rockets and finally the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets, reaching the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat.
The Lakers won games one and two of the finals in convincing fashion, but the Heat won game three under Jimmy Butler’s 40-point triple-double, halving the Lakers’ series lead 2-1. But the Lakers went on to win game four under James’ near triple-double, leaving them one win away from the title.
The 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers are the only team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 deficit and win the NBA Championship. The Heat tried hard to become the second team to achieve that feat.
Butler led the Heat to an improbable victory in game 5 with a 35-point triple-double, playing all but one minute of that game.
But in Game 6, the Lakers led by 28 points at halftime and cruised their way to victory with an impressive performance from James. And with that, the Lakers are the 2020 NBA Champions.
James not only earned his fourth championship, but was also awarded his fourth Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP award for leading his team to the championship.
Bryant would be proud.