The Los Angeles Lakers won their 17th NBA championship on Sunday, beating the Miami Heat with a final score of 106-93. The Lakers finished the best of 7 series in game 6, with four wins to the Heat’s two. The championship elevated the Los Angeles team to “franchise with most championship wins,” a title that is shared with the Celtics.
The other major milestone fans witnessed on Sunday, was Lebron James’ fourth career championship, bringing him one step closer to Michael Jordan’s six rings. Lebron has previously won back-to-back championships with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013, and one with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016. He has also appeared in the NBA Finals an astounding 10 times.
The 2020 season has been exactly like everything else this year, chaotic and unprecedented. Amidst a pandemic, political turmoil, and civil unrest, the Lakers were able to bring the championship back to Los Angeles for the first time since 2010, when the late Kobe Bryant led the team to a title. Lebron James has proven to be a leader on and off the court, clinching his 4th finals M.V.P. award while also spearheading much of the leagues’ efforts to raise awareness of social justice issues plaguing the nation. Efforts like painting the courts with the message, “Black Lives Matter,” the phrases on player jerseys highlighting social injustice, and kneeling during the national anthem.
After the win, Lebron had this to say before the celebration in a courtside interview, “For me to be a part of such a historical franchise is an unbelievable feeling, not only for myself but for my teammates, for the organization, for the coaches, for the trainers, everybody that’s here. We just want our respect. Rob (Pelinka) wants his respect. (Lakers head) coach (Frank) Vogel wants his respect. Our organization wants their respect. Laker nation wants their respect. And I want my damn respect, too.”