Los Angeles Lakers beat Miami Heat to win 2020 NBA Championship


Douglas P. DeFelice, Getty Images

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 11: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates with Quinn Cook #28 of the Los Angeles Lakers and teammates after winning the 2020 NBA Championship in Game Six of the 2020 NBA Finals at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on October 11, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Audrey Becker, Staff writer

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers win the 2020 NBA Championship!

After an impressive 52-win regular season, Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals four games to two, earning their 17th franchise championship (tied for the most in NBA history). While the Lakers were favored entering the series over the fifth seeded Heat, Game One was a disaster for Miami, which saw injuries to three top players (Butler, Adebayo, and Dragic), leading to a blowout 18-point loss. After a Game Two loss, though, the Heat fought back, managing to win Game Three with the help of a 40 point, 11 rebound, 13 assist performance by a recovered Butler. After dropping Game Four, the Heat squeaked out a three-point win, led by flamethrowing rookie Tyler Herro. Despite the team effort displayed by the Heat, the Lakers closed out the series in a 113-96 Game Six victory.

I can’t believe you. . . you cheated on me for the last five years,” said James to the Larry O’Brien trophy in a video posted by Bleacher Report.

Though James is 35 years old, one of the oldest players in the league, he had one of the greatest individual stat-lines the finals have ever seen during this series. In 38 minutes per game, The King put up 28 ppg, 11 rpg, and 9 apg, along with one block and one steal. This impressive performance earned him the title of finals MVP for the fourth time in his career, an honor he has garnered each of his four finals victories.

For the basketball world, this year has been a tumultuous one because of the COVID-19 adjustments, particularly so for the Lakers with the tragic death of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. Los Angeles, as expected, dedicated this win to Kobe and his daughter, Gianna, both of whom were victims of a tragic helicopter accident.

“Ever since the tragedy, all we wanted to do is do it for him, and we didn’t let him down. . . I know he’s looking down on us proud of us,” said Davis during the on-court celebration. 

How did Los Angeles manage to find the missing piece from their 2018-19 team, where they failed to even make the playoffs? Last offseason, the then Pelicans star, Anthony Davis, was acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers in a blockbuster deal, in an “all-in” attempt to bring a championship to Los Angeles. The Lakers paid a steep price – budding star Brandon Ingram, starting point guard Lonzo Ball, and multiple first round draft picks for Davis. The Lakers were betting that, with Davis, who had only one year remaining on his contract, they could not only win a title, but convince him to sign long term with the team. At the time, many observers thought this to be an overpay on Los Angeles’ part, but after putting up an impressive 25/11/3/2 clip in a successful NBA Finals run, the Lakers proved to be the winners of the trade.

“We got emotional. This entire journey that I’ve been on, my team’s been on, organization’s been on. It all just came full circle with this championship. I just got really emotional,” said Davis in a postgame interview.

The Lakers have earned this victory, and hope to keep the ball rolling into next season, when LeBron and company seek another championship — with LeBron chasing after Michael Jordan’s six rings and the Lakers looking to become the winningest team in league history with 18 total championships.