23 delivers for 24

Maddie Morelli, Sports Editor

Mission accomplished. After a 10-year hiatus, the Larry O’Brien trophy is returning to Los Angeles, and this one’s for Kobe. 

On Sunday, October 11, the Los Angeles Lakers sealed the NBA title, winning game six 106-93. The Lakers ended up defeating the Miami Heat with a 4-2 win in the series. 

            Last season, much like many sports, the COVID-19 pandemic cut the NBA season short, making it impossible for them to continue playing. The NBA Board of Governors approved the season to pick up again on July 30. However, this season has been incredibly different from other seasons. The NBA created what they called a “bubble” in the ESPN Worldwide Sports Complex down in Orlando, Florida. And from the beginning of the “bubble” to the finals, the NBA did not have a single positive COVID test. 

             When the season restarted, and finals were approaching, the Lakers were part underdog. Led by Lebron James and Anthony Davis, you can never say they were fully an underdog. However, this championship win is still an inspiring story. Compared to James and Davis, the rest of the team has been viewed as subpar. The Lakers had their two leading men, but the rest of the team was combined with B-list players who many thought would be the nail in the coffin of the Lakers season. But these players really came alive during the postseason, making for a well oiled machine. 

             One of the major discussions surrounding the finals is – did this seal Lebron’s legacy? Over the past decade, there has been a debate on whether Michael Jordan remains the greatest of all time, or if Lebron is here to take that throne. Lebron has been to eight championships, winning four. Michael Jordan has been to six championships, and won all six. Lebron still has quite a few years left, and his stats speak for themselves. According to Forbes.com, he leads all active players in scoring. He is also the only player in NBA history to have 9,000 points, 9,000 rebounds, and 9,000 assists. There is no doubt that over these next few years that Lebron will continue to light up the court, possibly getting a few more titles under his belt, securing his title as the greatest of all time.

This win was also huge for the Lakers because it comes nine months after the tragic death of Kobe and Gianna Bryant. Kobe was picked by the Lakers in the first round of the 1996 draft. He would go on to spend his entire 20 year career with the Lakers franchise, winning five NBA titles along the way. Kobe was a force on and off the court, and so intertwined with the Los Angeles community. The Lakers winning the title this year meant much more. Kobe was close to the hearts of not only the fans, but the players as well, they did this one for Kobe.

With the different pace that this season took because of the pandemic, the 2020-21 NBA regular season will be starting again on December 1.