- Sebastian Joseph, AIT
The NBA Finals have concluded. The Lakers are Champions!
March 11. Where were you when the NBA Season was suspended? Four months later, the NBA Season resumed, and on October 11, the NBA finals concluded. The star-studded Los Angeles Lakers had beat the Miami Heat in game six of the best of seven series, 106-93.
The narratives leading up to the finals were riveting. For starters, the Los Angeles Lakers were dealing with accusations that at 35, after a down season last year, Lebron was “washed up.” This, despite the fact that he had done more than prove himself this year, boasting a statline of 25.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 10.2 assists. He also led the league in assists, proving himself to be more than a Washed up King.
There was also excitement over what a Championship Ring might do to both Lebron’s and Anthony Davis’ legacies. Lebron James now has a total of 4 Championships and 4 Finals MVPs, which helps build his greatest-of-all-time campaign against the Legendary Michael Jordan.
Anthony Davis’s legacy, on the other hand, has been looked at with suspicion, due to his playoff success or lack thereof. He had played 7 seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans and only reached the Conference Semifinals once in his career. With this ring, Davis solidified his own legacy as an amazing player.
The final narrative the Lakers dealt with leading up to the finals pertained to the death of one of the NBA’s greatest players, Kobe Bean Bryant, the legendary Laker who spent 20 seasons with the team from 1996-2016. Bryant died in January 2020 with his daughter Gianna “GiGi” Bryant. Although this was a massive loss for the Lakers, they promised to win the Championship in Bryant’s honor, which they did.
The Miami Heat, on the other hand, dealt with their own narratives, especially those surrounding their now touted star, Jimmy Butler. When Jimmy Butler, known for his competitiveness, first joined the Miami Heat, many questioned his decision, especially as he could have made more money by keeping his contract with the 76ers. But, Butler proved his doubters wrong when he and the Heat pulled a surprising upset on the highly favoured Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Heat continued their surprising run with a 4-2 win over the Boston Celtics. Time and time again, they were depicted as underdogs, but they fought hard to get to the Finals.
It was here that Jimmy Butler especially proved himself, boasting an impressive statline of 26.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 9.8 assists. Though it went to James, Butler and Anthony Davis also battled for Finals MVP. Butler’s finals performance, in addition to the way he led his team to the finals has elevated him to Superstardom. He is now in a new echelon of players.
The Los Angeles Lakers now have won 17 championships, and they’re tied with the Boston Celtics for the most championships in the franchise’s history. Now, the real question is: can the Lakers repeat their victory with Davis’ free agency status looming over them.