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Last Updated: October 21, 2020

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Los Angeles Lakers Defeated Miami Heat to Win the 2020 NBA Championship

Introduction

On Sunday, October 11th, 2020 the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in game 6 of the 2020 NBA Finals with a final score of 106 to 93. That crucial victory enabled the Los Angeles Lakers to knock off the Miami Heat 4 games to 2 games in this year’s NBA Finals in order for the LA Lakers to win the 2020 NBA championship.

This is the 17th NBA championship in the Los Angeles Lakers franchise history. The Los Angeles Lakers are now tied with the Boston Celtics for the most NBA championships in their franchise’s history. The Los Angeles Lakers last won an NBA title back in 2010 when they defeated the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals, and Kobe Bryant won the NBA Finals MVP.

The Boston Celtics last won an NBA championship back in 2008 when they beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. There is obviously a lot of NBA history between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers which makes this one if the biggest rivalries in the history of the National Basketball Association. This rivalry was made irrefutably strong during the days of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird battling for NBA titles back in the 1980’s.

The 2020 NBA Finals MVP Award

Not surprisingly LeBron James was awarded the 2020 NBA Finals MVP. He dominated the NBA postseason this year by averaging 27.6 points per game, 10.8 rebounds per game, and 8.8 assists per game. The superstar and global icon averaged 29.8 points per game, 11.8 rebounds per game, and 8.5 assists per game throughout his impressive run in the 2020 NBA Finals. This is James’ 4th NBA title as well as his 4th NBA Finals MVP. LeBron has now led three different NBA franchises to championships in the National Basketball Association.

The Miami Heat

The Miami Heat put on one hell of a performance this season especially once they arrived at the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida to resume the 2019 – 2020 NBA season. The leader of the Miami Heat, Jimmy Butler, did everything he could to help his team. During the 2020 NBA Finals Butler averaged a grueling 43 minutes per game while putting up 26.2 points per game, 8.3 rebounds per game, 9.8 assists per game, 2.2 steals per game, and 0.8 blocks per game.

Butler’s best game of the NBA playoffs this season and possibly the best game of his life came during game 3 of the 2020 NBA Finals. He posted a 40 point triple double by finishing the basketball game with 40 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists. Only LeBron James and Jerry West have ever previously recorded a 40 point triple double in an NBA Finals game. Jimmy led the Miami Heat to an amazing 115 to 104 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in game 3 of the NBA Finals this year.

The Miami Heat were obviously outmatched throughout the 2020 NBA Finals, but they showed the league a lot of character for a young and hungry contender. Look for the Miami Heat to be fighting for an NBA title over the next several years with their young and talented team comprised of outstanding ball players such as Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Jae Crowder, Kendrick Nunn, Bam Adebayo, Kelly Olynyk, Andre Iguodala, Meyers Leonard, Solomon Hill, Goran Dragic, and Derrick Jones.

Media Statements

"We have a Ph.D. in adversity, I can tell you that much," the Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel stated. "We've been through a lot, but I'm so damn proud of this team. World champions!"

"Congrats to the @Lakers and @Seattlestorm on their championship wins!" Barack Obama tweeted. "Proud of all the NBA and WNBA teams and players who've been using their platforms to take a stand for racial justice and encourage civic participation this season."

"Go Lakers! Congratulations Uncle P! Congratulations @lakers. Kobe was right, RP! "Stay the course - blockout the noise." Wish Kobe and Gigi were here to see this," writes Vanessa Bryant.

"I think Kobe and Gianna have guided this team the entire year," says Rob Pelinka. "Kobe's voice is in my head. Always. Every day. Every minute. And I think to be able to -- for LeBron and AD and Vogel and myself and Jeanie [Buss], for us to be able to win this championship doesn't take away the sting of the loss. But it helps us add to their legacy. Their legacy will last forever. It will impact lives around the world in positive ways."

"Rob Pelinka really made me feel good tonight reaching out after the Lakers won the NBA Championship," Magic Johnson tweeted. "It means the world to me because I know he's in the middle of celebrating with all of the Lakers players, coaches, and Jeanie Buss he didn't have to!"

"You have written your own inspiring chapter in the great Laker history," says Jeanie Buss. "And to Laker Nation, we have been through a heartbreaking tragedy with the loss of our beloved Kobe Bryant. Let this trophy serve as a reminder of when we come together, believe in each other, incredible things can happen."

"We've been going back and forth a little bit about the last game," Phil Jackson expressed. "And how to not get over the edge of your skis and stay balanced."

"We found a way to play through a pandemic, keep everyone safe and put a spotlight on these critically important [social justice] issues," Adam Silver explained. "For that, every team deserves to be celebrated."

"We've all been challenged so much in 2020," Buss proclaimed. "It really takes your breath away."

"That is what families do for each other," Buss proclaimed. "Lift each other up when they feel like they can't go on."

"No matter what," says Buss. "The proof is in the work. That's where we found our comfort and our mission."

"You start to reflect back on the challenges," Buss stated. "To be here in the NBA Finals is at one time so uplifting, but also heartbreaking because of all the loss that we have gone through, and that we're not together as Laker fans living these moments that this team is providing us."

"A lot of Tex's quirks were from the fact he lived through the Depression, and that he didn't have food on the table," Buss explained. When the Chicago Bulls or Lakers would go out to eat at a nice restaurant or hotel buffet, Winter would always wrap up and save everything on his plate.

"It drove Phil crazy," Buss remembered. "Phil's like, 'You can't possibly take this with you, we're in a hotel.'

"But I guess now we're all people who can say we've lived through this pandemic, through this heartbreak, through these challenging times."

"I like to say he had his children, but the Lakers were his baby," Buss expressed. "And he put me in charge of the baby because he knew that I would do whatever it took to protect the baby."

"I never lost faith in the people that I was working with, so that part was easy," Buss reiterated. "What was difficult was not to defend myself, or to defend the people that I care about like Rob and like Linda [Rambis].

"But I was advised, 'This will be the hardest time of your life, but the only thing that will stop it is to do the work.' That became our mission was just to do the work."

"As I've learned though, with social media, very often the point is to weaponize it or to manipulate opinion," says Buss. "But you can't manipulate opinion when you're winning and you're in the NBA Finals. No matter what, the proof is in the work, and that's where we found our comfort and our mission. The hardest part though was having to take the arrows and the mud and the ridicule and not fight back."

"Kobe was always like, 'Don't listen to that,'" Buss said. "That was easy for him to shut it out. He was great at that. Phil was great at that."

"We're committed to you, and we'll come out of this on top," LeBron James' agent, Rich Paul, stated. "We'll come out of this different than what the world sees. Let the people who talk, talk. We just gotta do the work."

"It looks like LeBron's taken a little bit of the Michael Jordan-Kobe Bryant, 'We'll show them who we really are by our strength and our temperament,'" Jackson explained. "That's always a resource to incentivize you, so he's done a good job of that. I think his leadership has been good, and that's something that I questioned last year with that group of young men that were playing at the time. But here he feels very tuned in. And that's wonderful."

"It means a lot to rep this franchise," says LeBron James. "I told Jeanie 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 a part of such a historical franchise is an unbelievable feeling."

"We just want our respect," James goes on to say. "Rob wants his respect, Coach Vogel wants his respect. The organization wants their respect, Laker Nation wants their respect. And I want my damn respect too."

"I had seven years my first stint in Cleveland I felt like I couldn't get over the hump, I felt like I needed some help, I felt like I needed someone to push me," James expressed. "And that's when I was able to go to Miami and get pushed by D-Wade [Dwyane Wade] and [Chris] Bosh and that franchise.

"So to be able to get [Davis], and we push him and let him know how great he is by just making him see better basketball and be a part of something that's special, that's what it's all about. So to be able to put him where he is today, that means so much to me and the fact that he trusts me means even more."

"He was a great player before, but to get to play with LeBron, he can teach you this is what it's all about," Anthony Davis Sr. stated. "For him to learn from LeBron and them to come together so quick, it's just like, 'Wow.'"

"What people don't understand about Anthony," Davis Sr. goes on to say, "if they go back and watch the championship game he played at Kentucky, he had a horrible game. I think he scored five points total, but he had like 15 rebounds and five blocked shots.

"He was like, 'I don't have it tonight, but I'm going to block and defend everything coming to the rim.' He has that mentality still. He doesn't have to score. All he cares about is winning. That's the mentality he's had since Kentucky."

"It's still raw," Buss proclaimed. "I think it's going to be something I'm never going to get over."

"It's such a tough loss," says Buss. "But to know that everybody felt that same loss makes it feel like we're not so alone."

"That is one of the luxuries of living in Los Angeles," Vogel explained.

"Now, I've got something written down," James begins. "But Laker Nation, man I would be selling y'all short if I read off this shit so I'm going to go straight from the heart.

"As I look around this arena, we're all grieving, we're all hurt, we're all heartbroken and when we're going through things like this, the best thing you can do is lean on the shoulders of your family.

"Now, I've heard about Laker Nation before I got here last year, about how much of a family it is and that is absolutely what I've seen this week," James expressed. "Not only from the players, the coaching staff and the organization, but from everybody. Everybody that's here, this is truly, truly a family."

"He is not afraid to use his platform to speak out about things that are important without worrying about backlash or public opinion," Buss stated. "He stands for what he believes in, and it's made me stronger in being outspoken for things that I have now come to realize, speaking out for things that are right."

One senior Lakers executive said: "While some of our so-called rivals spent literally hundreds of millions of dollars trying to win media cycles, we kept our heads down and focused on basketball -- because the only thing we've ever cared about winning is championships."

"That's one of the things that's always amazed me about her and her father," Jackson remembers. "They felt like the team was the city's, the Lakers belong to L.A."

"Well, one, what I've learned being a Laker is that the Laker faithful don't give a damn what you've done before," says James. "They don't care about your résumé at all until you become a Laker. Then you've got to do it as a Laker, and then they respect you. I've learned that."

"I didn't like the way our season ended for us last year, especially myself with the injury and with our ballclub," James recalls. "My mom told me, 'Don't talk about it, be about it.' So I didn't talk much. Just go out and do your job."

"The fact that I'm here now means so much to me," James proclaimed. "To continue his legacy not only for this year but as long as we can play the game we love."

"It was like, OK, he's here," Buss realized. "People were like, 'It's planned, you guys are forcing this.' And it's like, 'Are you kidding me? This is completely organic. It comes from people's hearts, it doesn't come from a moment that can be planned.'"

"I am so proud of you both on and off the court," Buss told the team. "You've done Los Angeles proud with your hard work, your professionalism and your dedication. You have written your own inspiring chapter in the great Laker history.

"To Laker Nation. We have been through a heartbreaking tragedy with the loss of our beloved Kobe Bryant and Gianna. Let this trophy serve as a reminder of when we come together, believe in each other, incredible things can happen.

"When it's safe, I look forward to celebrating with you. Until then, I will bring back the trophy to Los Angeles, where it belongs."

"When the deepest trial of life hit, we relied on the strength of each other," says Pelinka. "And our own individual faiths, to find a path forward. We continued to believe that all things can somehow be worked together, to somehow, some way, find a good."

"This was very challenging, and very difficult," James explained. "It played with your mind, and it played with your body. You're away from some of the things you're so accustomed to [that] make you the professional you are.

"This is right up there with one of the greatest accomplishments I have."

"I can't really explain it," James expressed. "It's just certain things you know. In any type of relationship, you kinda just feel, you know, that vibe, you can have that respect. You have that drive, and sometimes you can't explain what links you with somebody, and that's organic."

"I think, personally, thinking I have something to prove fuels me," says James. "And it fueled me over this last year and a half since my injury.

"It fueled me because no matter what I've done in my career up until this point, there's still rumblings of doubt, or comparing me to the history of the game, and, 'Has he done this? Has he done that?'

"So, having that in my head, having that in my mind, saying to myself, 'Why not still have something to prove?' I think it fuels me."

"It's probably been the most challenging thing I've ever done as far as a professional, as far as committing to something and actually making it through," James said. "But I'm here for one reason and one reason only, and that's to compete for a championship. That was my mindset once I entered the bubble. ... I've been as locked in as I've ever been in my career."

"I have always believed in LeBron James," Vogel explained. "He's the greatest player the basketball universe has ever seen, and if you think you know, you don't know, OK, until you're around him every day. You're coaching him, you're seeing his mind, you're seeing his adjustments, seeing the way he leads the group. You think you know ... [but] you don't know. It's just been a remarkable experience coaching him and seeing him take this group that was not in the playoffs last year, the roster was put together, you know, overnight, and just taking a group and leading us to the promised land, so they say.

"He was terrific the entire season leading us, and I can't say enough about him."

"I love you. I love you. ... You are the reason why I'm able to even do this, Mom," James expressed. "You don't understand -- 16 years old, you bring a little-ass, big-headed-ass boy into the world? C'mon. C'mon, Mom.

"Like everything that you've been through, everything that I've seen, there's nothing that can stop me. Because this shit right here is nothing compared to the shit you had to go through."

"Once I got inside here," James remembered, "I said, 'OK, this is my mission. I want to win a championship. This is why I'm here.'"

"Everyone was going crazy," Avery Bradley explained. "Everyone was excited. My wife was excited."

"I think it is something that is hard, obviously, not being there," says Bradley. "But I think from the beginning I've been able to be at peace."

"He was just letting me know I am a part of it," Bradley recalls. "It has been a long season -- and an amazing one. And we've been through a lot. It was just an amazing win. You could see it on his face."

"I watched every single game," Bradley stated. "I am still a Laker."

"You play your whole career working for a championship," Bradley explained, "and knowing that I was this close and a part of something, even though I wasn't there, is still an amazing feeling."

"I was a little bit speechless," Joey Buss said.

"There's been a lot of highs and lows over the last 11 years, and a lot has happened," Joey points out. "And I think being able to now bring it back full circle into Laker success, I think it means a lot, because I think that fans will be at ease to know that we can have success."

"I think, I mean, if we all knew Kobe, Kobe didn't want friends -- on the court. That's what fueled him," James expressed.

"My game was different. I've kind of always allowed people to come in [to my circle] or whatever the case may be. But we both wanted to be the best," James goes on to say. "And Kobe's like, 'No, you're not about to come out here and take my reign.' And it was vice versa. Him on one coast, I'm on the other coast. But I think it's just that drive, man."

"I guess he took a liking into me just being so inquisitive and asking questions," Kyle Kuzma stated. "And Kobe was just the type of person that, he really wouldn't mess with you if he didn't think you had something special in you and if you didn't really have a true desire to get better at basketball. So, I mean, that's just probably the greatest compliment I can get from having that type of relationship, him seeing something special in me."

"It's honestly the same," Kuzma replied. "Like, the exact same. I talk to Bron all the time about basketball life, business, whether that's what type of bank account does he use? What type of investment resources he has? Like, it's the same. So, it's just been great for me to have both of those guys."

"Man, I'm hurting," Anthony Davis explained.

"My mindset is, 'It's the Finals. I got to do whatever I can to compete,'" Davis reiterated. "There's no way in hell I wasn't playing in this game."

"I think so," Davis recalled. "I mean, what he's done in his career and what we've been able to do tonight, and if all the pieces fall in place and I end up coming back to L.A. and we win again and however long the contract is -- if I decide to come back -- say it's two years and we win two [more titles]. Like, that's a strong case."

"Win a couple more championships and win a couple MVPs and get a shoe and ..." says Davis. "That all comes in time. ... Like, he tells me, 'This is your team. This is your time.' Like, 'I'm good. If I retired today, I'm fine.'"

"It happened to be that right when it hit the chorus of 'Smooth Operator,' he came walking around the corner," Matt Shelton, the Los Angeles Lakers' director of game entertainment, explained. "And you could see it on his face, and he starts singing along to the lyrics, and we're like, 'Oh, we have something here.'"

"I love Sade. I've never been to a Sade concert, which I'm still regretting. But I love her," James said. "I listen to her music, shit, weekly. The song was played one time and it just kind of, I don't know, I love the song. I mean, who doesn't love 'Smooth Operator'? It's great. I guess it kind of turned into a closing anthem right there on the court."

Sources:

“Los Angeles Lakers lean on defense in dominant Game 6 win vs. Miami Heat, claim first NBA title in a decade”, Dave McMenamin, espn.com, October 12, 2020.

“How LeBron James and the Lakers fought heartbreak to win the NBA Finals”, Ramona Shelburne, espn.com, October 12, 2020.

“LeBron James of Los Angeles Lakers claims fourth NBA Finals MVP”, Tim Bontemps, espn.com, October 12, 2020.


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