Lakers savour championship win
The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat 106-93 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals and were crowned the 2020 NBA Champions as the 2019-20 NBA season concluded in Orlando, Florida. It capped off an incredible season for the Lakers who finished as the number one seed in the Western Conference.
For the fourth time in his career, LeBron James lifted the Larry O’Brien Trophy and was voted the NBA Finals MVP. The four-time NBA Champion has now won four championships with three-different franchises – Miami Heat (2012, 2013), Cleveland Cavaliers (2016) and LA Lakers (2020).
James led the team with 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists, with Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo scoring 19 points each. The Lakers’ 28-point lead at halftime was the second biggest in NBA Finals history. The Lakers won the best-of-seven series 4-2.
King James spoke about the trust showed in him by the organisation when he first signed and how that has culminated in this title triumph, “What gave me faith is that Rob Pelinka told me he would do whatever it takes to make sure that we would become a winning franchise once again. Obviously, championships are not promised, and I don't expect that. But he said he would do whatever it takes to make this franchise, whatever personnel changes he needs to make, any part of our organization, he would do it, because he wanted to win just as much. And for me, being able to get Jeanie back to this point, that's something that fueled me as well. This is a historic franchise and to be a part of this is something that I'll be able to talk about and my grandkids and kids will be able to talk about; their pawpaw played for the Los Angeles Lakers. It's like playing for the Yankees and winning or playing for the Cowboys and winning a Super Bowl, or the Patriots. It's like playing for the Red Sox. So to be able to win with a historical franchise is something that, no matter if your mind wavers away, you can always remember what you're doing it for.” Winning their 17th title, the LA Lakers have tied the Boston Celtics for the most championships in NBA history.
LeBron James might be familier with the winning feeling but for his superstar teammate Anthony Davis, his first championship meant a lot, “There was like 25 seconds left. Actually, when I came out of the game, I just started feeling it. About 25 seconds left, that feeling just turned into reality. I was 25 seconds from becoming a champion. I got emotional. It's the type of journey that I've been on, my team has been on, the organization has been on -- it all came just full circle with this championship. So I just got real emotional. He was bothering me, saying, "You're soft. Oh, you crybaby." I walked to the back, and there was a banner trophy. I kind of grabbed it. Then we walked back out to the court. It was an unbelievable feeling, and just an emotional moment for me.”
Bam Adebayo led the Heat with 25 points and 10 rebounds while Jimmy Butler finished the contest with 12 points, seven rebounds and eight assists. Goran Dragic returned to the court and recorded five points, five rebounds and two assists. It was a tough series loss for the Heat who had punched above their weight throughout the playoffs. They can still be proud of their accomplishments this term but they feel that they have much to improve upon. Miami Heat leader Jimmy Butler echoed this sentiment, “This is what my team needed me to do, the organization asked of me. I told them that I would win them one and I didn't hold up my end of the bargain, so that means I got to do it next year. I told Coach Pat, I told Coach Spo I'm here to win one. I didn't do my job, so moving forward, I got to hold up my end of the bargain.” Heat big man, Nigerian-American Bam Adebayo was equally disappointed but is also looking forwards to what seems like a bright future. The Heat came together as a team during a very testing time and that togetherness and spirit is what bonded them, “At the end of the day, I wouldn’t want to be in the locker room with no other guys. I feel like when we got in the bubble, everyone was complaining about not wanting to be here, nobody wants to be here, but my teammates stayed solid. We stayed solid and we wanted to be here. We wanted to compete. That’s one of the biggest things I would say.”