The Los Angeles Lakers are the 2020 NBA champions. The LeBron James-led side finally put the Miami Heat to bed in Game 6 of the best of seven series NBA Playoff finals on Sunday 106-93.
James led his team with 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists and was voted the finals MVP for the fourth time in his career.
The Lakers restricted the Heat’s leader, Jimmy Butler, to just 12 points as they finally sealed a first title in 10 years – one that honours the memory of Lakers legend, Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter incident in January.
The Lakers built up a 29-point lead over the first three quarters. So, despite a 35-19 Heat win in the fourth quarter; the Lakers cruised to the finish line. Bam Adebayo led the Heat in scoring 25 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists.
The Lakers missed the playoffs last season – the first time James was missing the season-ending playoffs in 10 years, but he has now fulfilled the promise he made to the Lakers franchise to take them back to the top.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, James demanded respect for the owner, the team, the coach, and himself. “I told Jeanie [Buss, LA Lakers owner] when I came here that I was going to put this franchise back in a position where it belongs.
“Her late, great father did it for so many years and she just took it on after that and for me to be part of such a historical franchise is an unbelievable feeling, not only for myself, but for my teammates, for the organisation, for the coaches, for the trainers, everybody that’s here.
“We just want our respect. Rob [Pelinka, Lakers GM] wants his respect, coach [Frank] Vogel wants his respect, our organisation want their respect, Laker Nation want their respect and I want my damn respect too.”
James had won the championship with Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013; with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, and now he has achieved it with the Lakers in 2020–if nobody respects him for these achievements, the history of the game does.