The Los Angeles Lakers are on top of the NBA world once again. On Sunday night, LeBron James and Anthony Davis led the Lakers to a 106-93 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. This is the first championship for the Lakers since 2010 and the 17th championship in franchise history. Since winning their first championship in 1949, the Lakers have one at least one title in every decade except the 1960s and 1990s.
The season will be memorable for the Lakers since it was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It resumed in Orlando, back in July and the Lakers were able to cruise through the rest of the regular season and the playoffs. They finished the season as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets in the playoffs before taking down the Heat. In the four playoff series, the Lakers only lost five games.
"This is the reason why I wanted to be a teammate of his and why I brought him here," James said after beating the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals when talking about Davis. "I wanted him to see things that he had not seen before in this league. To be able to come through for him meant a lot for me personally."
Davis joined the Lakers via trade in June 2019 after spending his first seven seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans. With Davis and James, who signed with the Lakers in 2018, the team was able to reach the playoffs for the first time since the 2012-2013 season and win the title. James and Davis will return next season, which makes the Lakers the favorites to win the title again.
This Lakers championship is extra special as the team was looking to win to pay tribute to the late Kobe Bryant. In January, Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people died in a helicopter accident. He was a member of the Lakers from 1996-2016 and led the team to five championships from 2000-2010. Bryant was named NBA Finals MVP in 2009 and 2010. He was also named NBA MVP in 2008. Bryant was elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame this year.