"Job's not finished. Is the job finished, I don't think so".
The famous words of Kobe Bryant echoed through the minds of the Lakers during their 2020 playoff run, now they can say the job is done after winning their 17th NBA championship.
The Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in six games to capture their first title since 2010.
LeBron James took home his 4th Finals MVP by averaging 29.8 points. 11.8 rebounds and 8.5 assists. He now trails only Michael Jordan (6) in most careers Finals MVP's.
During arguably the best playoff run of his career, LeBron made history as the only player to win Finals MVP honors with three different teams. He also joined Michael Jordan as the only players to have 4 championships and 4 Finals MVP's.
Anthony Davis was sensational in the finals, averaging 25.0 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks while winning his first NBA title. His defensive presence and willingness to guard Heat star Jimmy Butler made a big difference in the Lakers bringing home the gold ball. Rajon Rondo also made history himself by becoming the only player to win titles with both the Lakers and the Boston Celtics, the two teams tied with the most championships in NBA history.
During all of the historic championship runs for the Lakers, this has to be the most difficult and the most rewarding. During a year that saw the tragic death of Laker legend Kobe Bryant, the Lakers saw other obstacles. The season was suspended back in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was resumed in a bubble atmosphere in Orlando. They faced some tough challenges by playing in an arena with no fans, daily Covid testing, poor food accommodations, cramped living quarters and not being able to have family with them. Through it all they fought through adversity and prevailed as NBA champions.
The Lakers arrived back home in LA and stepped off of the team plane a sense of relief and the Larry O'Brien trophy in hand. You can tell there were happier, not only by winning a title, but by being back to some kind of normalcy after spending over three months in the bubble. The monkey had finally jumped off their backs by making the playoffs after a six year drought and winning it all for a city and fan base that desperately needed something to cheer for.
All respect is due to the Miami Heat and head coach Erik Spoelstra. They had a great playoff run that included upset victories to the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics. Nobody gave them a chance and they shocked the NBA world with their toughness and resilience, they will definitely be a force to be reckoned with in the near future.
LeBron James may have narrowed or ended the "GOAT" debates over recent years with this last championship run. At age 35 he shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon and could easily have this Lakers team in a position to run it back.
Many critics call this an "asterisk" championship because the Lakers didn't play their rival Clippers or the Milwaukee Bucks, and I say that's downright stupid and disrespectful. The best team won and the Lakers have been the best and most consistent team, not only in the playoffs but for the entire season. LeBron said during his postgame interview "I want my damn respect", and he gets nothing but that from me.
The Lakers had one goal in mind, and that was to win it for Kobe. They did that and more.