Whether you’re a Lakers fan or a LeBron James hater you have to give it to the Lakers for withstanding the most unique circumstances in the history of the NBA Finals.
The Lakers and the NBA Finals MVP LeBron James had the Miami Heat beat by halftime as they outscored the Heat 64 to 36 in the first half. The Lakers went on to win 106 to 93, but the score does not in any way reflect the fact that Lakers took their foot off the gas pedal for the entire fourth quarter.
Clearly, the combination of Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and a wide variety of other veteran players like Rajon Rondo proved to be too much for the Heat.
As history will one day look back on the NBA Bubble, the stories of LeBron’s greatness on and off the court during his time in the bubble will certainly grow.
The very uniqueness of this situation will not be an asterisk on the 17th NBA title for the Los Angeles Lakers, rather it will eventually be viewed as one of the greatest achievements by a team in the history of sports.
Sure, this all sounds a little too forward-thinking because the Lakers championship cigars are still burning, but when you line up all the obstacles that the Lakers had to overcome in 2020 – the tragedy of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, the pandemic, social injustice issues, and the fact that the Lakers had to live in a bubble for practically 3 months to bring home another ring, well you can’t help but imagine 20 years from now people are going to still be talking about the 2020 Los Angeles Lakers Championship.
Here’s What LeBron Said
“This was very challenging and very difficult,” James said afterward. “It played with your mind, and it played with your body. You’re away from some of the things you’re so accustomed to [that] make you the professional you are.
“This is right up there with one of the greatest accomplishments I have.”
“I can’t really explain it,” James said of what makes his partnership with Anthony Davis so special. “It’s just certain things you know. In any type of relationship, you kinda just feel, you know, that vibe, you can have that respect. You have that drive, and sometimes you can’t explain what links you with somebody, and that’s organic.”
“I think, personally, thinking I have something to prove fuels me,” James said. “And it fueled me over this last year and a half since my injury.”
“It fueled me because no matter what I’ve done in my career up until this point, there’s still rumblings of doubt, or comparing me to the history of the game, and, ‘Has he done this? Has he done that?”
“So, having that in my head, having that in my mind, saying to myself, ‘Why not still have something to prove?’ I think it fuels me.”
“It’s probably been the most challenging thing I’ve ever done as far as a professional, as far as committing to something and actually making it through,” James said on NBA Finals media day of playing in the bubble. “But I’m here for one reason and one reason only, and that’s to compete for a championship. That was my mindset once I entered the bubble. … I’ve been as locked in as I’ve ever been in my career.”
“I have always believed in LeBron James,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “He’s the greatest player the basketball universe has ever seen, and if you think you know, you don’t know, OK, until you’re around him every day. You’re coaching him, you’re seeing his mind, you’re seeing his adjustments, seeing the way he leads the group. You think you know … [but] you don’t know. It’s just been a remarkable experience coaching him and seeing him take this group that was not in the playoffs last year, the roster was put together, you know, overnight, and just taking a group and leading us to the promised land, so they say.
“He was terrific the entire season leading us, and I can’t say enough about him”