Lakers Are Once Again Kings of the Basketball World!
October 11, 2020 by Tommy Johnson
“In a year that’s been so improbable, the impossible has happened.” Those were the immortal words from the legendary Vin Scully as he described Kirk Gibson’s epic World Series home run in 1988. It’s been 32 years since that iconic moment in time, but Vin’s words couldn’t have been more prophetic in describing the 2020 NBA season.
Through serendipity, happenstance, being good or just hard work, whatever the case might be, all that matters to their fans is that the Los Angeles Lakers rein once again reign as the Kings of the Basketball World.
It’s been a decade since the Lakers have been at the proverbial top of the basketball world, since then… it’s been a tough-tough road. Their journey has led them on a path of several horrible seasons, revolving door of players and coaches.
Then, there was he unthinkable, the death of Laker legend Kobe Bryant.
The game before the game had the Lakers setting the mood. Lakers’ Danny Green informed us all that he and his fiancée were getting death threats on social media after Game 5. Green was unable to hit a shot at the end of the game that could have won the game and given them the elusive championship trophy.
Before the game Green said “It’s a basketball game, people are emotional. Fans are emotional. I hope they don’t take it that seriously. … I know they’re just taking out their emotions and they need somebody to blame. It came down to that last play and of course I’m the easy target.” Green took it in stride and he showed he was a professional and brought his game face.
The truth is the days of the Magic and Kareem’s Showtime Lakers, Shaq and Kobe’s Lake show are long gone. Now, it’s LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, Kyle Kuzma and Alex Curuso who anchor today’s Lake show.
Despite all the challenges of the past decade, Coach Frank Vogel was in the right place at the right time when he took over as head coach. With James and Kuzma as a solid force, the addition of Davis and a few other pieces made the difference that got them over the hump.
So how did we even get here? The 2020 NBA season was halted due to the Covid-19 Global Pandemic, and it almost didn’t resume. For a while there it was unclear if it would even happen because of the pandemic and in more recently our social unrest that’s plagued us the past few months Luckily it resumed and Florida’s playoff bubble proved to be a formidable force. The intensity from all teams was there and the effort by every team set the tone.
As for Game 6: The Heat gave the Lakers a run for their money in the series staying in most games. Jimmy Butler bottom-line personifies the team with his efforts that were nothing short of inspiring. In game 6, the Lakers came out with incredible energy. Rajon Rondo stepped up his game. James and Davis put in their typical solid effort. Although defensively, Davis was a menacing monster. As for Green, redemption was his as he played a solid-solid game. The big difference in game 6 was the Lake show’s defense.
The Lakers simply blocked out the Heat in the box, they killed them on the line, in the paint and from the arc. The game simply got away from the Heat in the 2nd quarter, The Lakers compiled a 28-point lead at the half that The Heat never recovered from. It was so overwhelming… it was the 2nd largest half-time lead in NBA history!
The Heat simply just couldn’t keep up. Butler’s legs were just too tired from all the minutes he’s played over their entire play-off run. It showed across-the-board in all facets of the Heats game.
The Heat put up a small murmur of protest with a small run in the 4th, but their inability to keep up with the Lakers culminated in the 106-93 loss. The final gives the impression that the game was closer than it actually was.
The Lakers are no strangers to Championships, but the recent drought had so many doubters of the teams ability and grit the past few years. This playoff run showed everyone what the team was made of and as a result, the Lakers are back where they belong.
As for the accolades, James is in his 17th NBA season and it was his 260th playoff game over his illustrious career. That accomplishment lifted him into sole possession for postseason appearances by any player. That’s an accomplish that’s hard to duplicate. Honestly, James’ postseason career alone has seen more games than some NBA players’ entire careers. 2nd ring for Rondo, 1st for Davis and the rest of the Lakers. Bottom line, it’s his 4th NBA Championship, and oh yeah… add another Finals MVP to his resume.
Lakers greats can take pride in what this squad accomplished. Their dedication to their vision of what it would take to bring a title home became reality. The headline throughout the world should read The Lakers powered their way past Jimmy Butler and his Miami Heat to win their 17th World Championship. They also tie the Boston Celtics for having the most Championships in NBA history.