Los Angeles Lakers: Anthony Davis Adds to Stellar Championship Year
Finally, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers are NBA champions. LA captured its 17th title in franchise history and their first since 2010. This was a memorable year due to all the stories surrounding this team.
Anthony Davis finally has his first ring in the NBA. The former Pelican and Kentucky star was dealt to the Lakers last year and was a great compliment to 17-year vet LeBron James.
AD was stellar during the Lakers’ title run and was dominant in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against Miami.
Without further delay let’s jump into some of the storylines that engulfed the 2019-20 Lakers.
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash in late January.
The Lakers wanted to honor both of them and win a title as a way to pay tribute.
The Mamba jerseys were worn five times by the Lakers during this year’s playoffs.
It was fitting that LA came out on top of the NBA with another NBA championship, which also ties the Boston Celtics for most all-time.
From Kobe and his daughter tragically passing away to the league being shutdown in mid-March due to COVID-19 concerns, the Lakers fought through tough times this season. And since they were able to withstand these challenges, that only adds to the championship mindset this team had.
The Mamba Mentality was real this season. Kobe has left an impact on James, AD, and Rajon Rondo among others on this LA club.
The 47-year-old head coach earned his first NBA title in his first season with the Lakers.
After missing the 2018-19 season, Vogel agreed to a three-year deal with LA last offseason and he left his mark on this franchise.
The Los Angeles Lakers defense looked stellar as well this season and it clamped down on teams throughout the playoffs.
These are just a few ways Vogel impacted the Lakers this season.
Vogel had a few good seasons with Indiana and helped them reach the postseason before being let go. And he was canned after a brief stint in Orlando.
The wily veteran almost averaged a triple-double during this year’s Finals and he deserved his fourth NBA Finals MVP award.
James was the driving force behind this Lakers’ title team, especially when it came to LA’s offense.
I know people will try to snub Bron and how his legacy doesn’t stack up to other great players who have graced the NBA hardwood. But, James was excellent and this was arguably his best playoff run.
Normally there’s a point during each postseason where someone says, “Why didn’t LeBron become more aggressive? How come he didn’t show up in this game?”
Well this postseason, no one asked those questions. LeBron showed up and he wasn’t “missing” at all. I’m sure having a few months off helped James and this Lakers team (NBA paused season due to coronavirus concerns).
Howard went from being an All-Star to a journeyman in the NBA.
He decided to accept a bench role with the Los Angeles Lakers this season and he did an exceptional job in that role.
Howard knew he had to attack the boards and play good defense down low. He did that.
I know people will look at Anthony Davis and LeBron James, but the other veterans on this LA team showed up big time.
Dwight never won a title before this season. Howard ran into the Lakers during the 2009 NBA Finals as a member of the Orlando Magic, but LA won that series in five.
Dwight last made an All-Star team back in 2014. The 8-time All-Star and two-time block champ made the necessary sacrifices in order to win a ring. I commend him for that.
Howard is scheduled to hit free agency this offseason and who knows if he returns to the City of Angels next season.
The former Boston Celtic got his second ring as an NBA player.
Rondo dealt with injury this season but became a factor and a breath of fresh air for the Lakers.
The point guard also became a three-point threat in the postseason for LA and averaged 40% from downtown in the playoffs.
This year Rajon Rondo averaged the most playoff three-pointers of his career.
Rondo, like Howard, became a journeyman. He played eight-plus years in Boston before bouncing to Dallas, Sacramento, Chicago, New Orleans, and LA.
Rondo has one year left on his deal with LA.
Anthony Davis should re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers and who knows if LA will make upgrades to their roster.
But, one thing is certain, this was a storybook ending for the Lakers and their fans. The franchise needed this after being in the gutter for most of the last decade.
Congrats to the LA Lakers, you guys set the gold standard once again.
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