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Lakers defeat Heat in NBA Finals

Lakers guard Rajon Rondo holds the Larry O’Brien Trophy as the Lakers celebrate their NBA championship win over the Miami Heat on Sunday. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Through the darkness and drama, the questions about whether the Lakers’ luster was gone forever, remained the hope that a day like this would happen again.

A championship. Confetti sprayed all over the court. A superstar puffing a cigar, grinning at what he’d done.

On Sunday evening, the Lakers became champions for the 17th time with a 106-93 win over the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

This time they did it in a gym shaped like Mickey Mouse with two superstars who came to resuscitate the franchise. Anthony Davis came because of LeBron James.

At the end of a strange, heartbreaking season — the longest NBA season ever — James won his fourth championship. He notched a triple-double in the clinching game — his first of the series — with 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists. He earned Finals most valuable player honors for the fourth time in his career.

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 23, 2020 - - Elizabeth Munoz, from Huntington Park, brings flowers to leave at a Kobe Bryant mural on what would have been his 42nd birthday along Hill Street in downtown Los Angeles on August 23, 2020. Munoz, her sister and nephew, were visiting as many murals of the late Lakers star and leaving flowers to wish him a Happy Birthday. "Thanks for all the memories. We'll never forget you," Munoz said. The mural was created by L.A. native artist Enkone. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Afterward, he shared the glory with owner Jeanie Buss, general manager Rob Pelinka, coach Frank Vogel and all the fans who couldn’t be there.

“I told Jeanie when I came here I was going to put this franchise back in the position that it belongs,” James said. “… We just want our respect, Rob wants his respect, coach Vogel wants his respect, the organization wants their respect, Laker nation wants their respect.

“I want my damn respect too.”

This title didn’t look like the rest. It didn’t happen at home or on the road; it happened at Disney World. There weren’t fans, hostile or friendly; there wasn’t a familiar ride to an arena. There was just basketball in a bubble that protected them from a global pandemic that gripped the nation. They remained on this campus in Florida, steeling themselves for a mentally taxing existence, aided by the knowledge of their grander mission.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Tania Ganguli on Los Angeles Times
Published: October 11, 2020
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