“Our organization wants their respect. Laker Nation wants their respect, ”James said. “And I also want my fucking respect. ”
Anthony Davis had 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers, who faced the enormous angst that followed the iconic Bryant’s death in January and all the challenges that came with leaving home for three months to play Walt Disney World in a bubble designed to protect residents from the coronavirus.
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It would be the hardest title to win, predicts James.
“We have a PhD in adversity, I’ll tell you a lot,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “We have been through a lot. ”
They made the tire easy. James won his fourth title, doing so with a third different franchise – and against the Heat franchise which showed him to become a champion.
Bam Adebayo had 25 points and 10 rebounds for Miami, who got 12 points from Jimmy Butler – the player who, in his first Heat season, brought the team back to the title. Rajon Rondo scored 19 points for the Lakers.
With that, the league bubble chapter, set up after a 4 1/2 month suspension from play that began on March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic and came with a pledge to raise awareness of the issues of racial injustice and police brutality is over. The same goes for a season that saw the league and China engage in political battles, the Jan. 1 death of Commissioner Emeritus David Stern – the man who did so much to make the league what it is – and then the January shock. 26 who came with the news that Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others died in a helicopter crash.
The Lakers said they played the rest of the season in his memory.
They delivered what Bryant did five times for LA – a ring, and the clincher was adamant.
“You wrote your own inspiring chapter in the great Laker history,” said Lakers owner Jeanie Buss. “And for Laker Nation, we went through a heartbreaking tragedy with the loss of our beloved Kobe Bryant. May this trophy remind us when we come together, believe in each other, amazing things can happen. ”
Game 6 was over at halftime, with the Lakers taking a 64-36 lead at the break. The Heat never led and couldn’t shoot from anywhere: 35% from the 2 point range in the half, 33% from the 3 point range and even an unusual 42% from the line, not like it all really matters. The Lakers got whatever they wanted and then some, edging Miami 36-16 in the second quarter and doing it all with James taking just one shot in the period.
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Rondo, now two-time champion and the first to win rings as a player in Boston and Los Angeles – the franchises now tied with 17 titles apiece – had 6 for 6 in the half, the first time he did so since. . November 2007. The Lakers’ lead was 46-32 with 5:00 left in the half, and they outscored Miami 18-4 until intermission.
Ball game. The 28-point halftime lead was the second-largest in NBA Finals history, overcome only by the Celtics leading the Lakers 79-49 on May 27, 1985.
“We didn’t get the end result we wanted,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “But even what I mentioned to the guys are going to be lifelong memories that we have together. This locker room… we’re going to remember this year, this season, this experience and this locker room brotherhood for the rest of our lives. ”
True to form, the Heat – a No.5 seed in the Eastern Conference who finished with a losing record last season, a team that rose to the bubble challenge like no other – have not stopped play, not even when the deficit has widened. to 36 in the third trimester.
A 23-8 run by Miami took the Heat to 90-69 with 8:37 to go. But the outcome was never in doubt, and soon after, confetti was thrown into the air as the Lakers’ celebration officially and officially began.
“Laker Nation,” yelled Vogel, now the first-time champion. ” We did it. “