The Los Angeles Lakers secured their record-tying 17th championship in franchise history in dominant fashion during a one-sided Game 6 win against the Miami Heat.
With it, a promise was successfully fulfilled between LeBron James and Jeanie Buss. The Lakers fell vastly short of expectations by missing the playoffs during James’ debut season with the team.
Although they managed to regroup and reload with the acquisition of Anthony Davis, the unprecedented circumstances of a difficult 2019-20 NBA season provided even more challenges for this team.
Not only was James eventually able to add on to his legacy as one of the greatest players in NBA history, Buss also made history of her own by becoming the league’s first female owner to win a championship.
James relished in being able to do his part to put the Lakers back to its rightful place as a winning franchise and called for recognition across the board.
“I told Jeanie when I came here I was going to put this franchise back where it belongs. Her late, great father did it for so many years and she just took it on after that,” James began.
“For me to be a part of such a historical franchise, it’s an unbelievable feeling not only for myself, for my teammates, the organization, the coaches, the trainers and everybody that’s here. We just want our respect. Rob wants his respect. Coach Vogel wants his respect. Our organization wants their respect. Laker Nation wants their respect. And I want my damn respect, too.”
It is safe to say that there were a number of key figures in the Lakers’ organization trying to get their due this season. It helped serve as a motivating factor for this team on top of already being one of the most talented squads in the league.
Aside from James and Buss, vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka had caught plenty of flak for the turmoil that plagued the front office in his first year. The criticisms were then magnified when Pelinka hired Frank Vogel as the head coach after a botched process.
While all the criticisms have not gone unnoticed by the Lakers, they are now the ones having the last laugh.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope reveals LeBron’s message before Game 6
The Heat made a statement with their win in Game 5 against the Black Mamba jersey wearing Lakers. Of course, it only served to prolong the inevitable as L.A. came out swinging in Game 6 and never looked back on their way to a 17th championship.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope reveled that James again sent a message to the team beforehand.
“There was a message: Must win,” Caldwell-Pope said. “Also it said this is a Game 7 game. We wanted to treat it like it was Game 7, and we wanted to come out in the first quarter and impose our will, which we weren’t doing to start the series.”
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