After missing the playoffs in the 2018-19 season, LeBron James’ first year with the Los Angeles Lakers, another star was needed to accompany him. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka had his sights on Anthony Davis, who was openly disgruntled with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Pelinka moved off Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and a ton more assets to cash in on a championship window with James and Davis. That following season, the team was firing on all cylinders occupying the first seed of the Western Conference for a majority of the season.
An experienced roster with two stars resulted in a 49-14 record through Mar. 10, the last game played before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. With the recent passing of the late, great Kobe Bryant, combined with the pandemic, it felt like the odds were stacked against the Lakers when they were finding their stride.
Luckily for L.A., the NBA restarted the season in late July with the ‘bubble’ in Orlando. Former Lakers forward Markieff Morris discussed the mindset that the team had heading into the bubble with the hopes of winning a championship for Bryant, via Showtime’s All The Smoke:
“Before we went in the bubble, we knew we was going to win. We were so locked in. The shit happened with Kobe was like, ‘We got to get it done for him.’ We was one of the teams that was pushing more for the bubble because we knew we had the best chance of winning, and we knew no matter what or who stepped on the court with us, we was going to win.”
When the season restarted, the Lakers had the No. 1 seed locked up and were saving themselves for the postseason. Only 71 regular season games were played and L.A. finished with a 52-19 record, making the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
The first three rounds for the Lakers were seamless, beating the Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets in five games, resulting in an NBA Finals appearance against the Miami Heat.
It was a stressful six games, but L.A. beat the Heat and accomplished the goal they set out to do when entering the bubble. So much happened in the year of 2020 that wasn’t necessarily positive, but the Lakers were able to provide that with winning a championship under the straining circumstances, both mentally and physically.
Damian Lillard doesn’t agree with people discrediting Lakers’ 2020 bubble championship
A lot has been made about the Lakers’ title in 2020, whether it should be validated or not with the circumstances of the bubble. However, Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard doesn’t agree with the narrative of discrediting L.A.’s championship for scenarios they couldn’t control.
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