Thoughts on the NBA Finals

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(Photo/Sports Illustrated)

Will Sedgely, Print News Associate

The 2020 NBA Finals, which featured the ultimate superstar and superstar team, the Los Angeles Lakers with Lebron James, and the plucky, hardworking Miami Heat, led by the ultimate underdog Jimmy Butler, put the cap on the longest season in league history. While the effort to get to this point was extreme, the ultimate success of the bubble, with no cases of COVID-19 being recorded, was evident when the Los Angeles Lakers held the trophy aloft. 

The number one seeded(finished with the best regular-season record) Lakers, after dispatching the TrailBlazers, the Rockets, and the Nuggets on their way to the finals, came in as heavy favorites against the number five Heat, who had beat the Pacers, the Bucks, and the Celtics to get to this point. Adding to their underdog status, the Heat lost two of their best players in the first game, Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo. The loss of these two players, combined with the convincing wins in the first two games led many to speculate that this series would turn into a sweep or a route. Yet, in the third game, Butler played one of the best finals games in NBA History, willing his team to victory against all odds.

Ultimately, although Butler put up a valiant fight in the fifth game, as well as cutting the Lakers lead to 3-2, the season had a fitting ending with the league’s best player and the most famous team holding the trophy. While the season will be remembered for Lebron’s fourth championship and the Lakers’ first since 2010, it will be impossible to forget the strain of Covid-19 on the season, leading to the bubble, where virtually the entire league gathered in a COVID safe environment to finish the season,  as well as the impact of the BLM movement. Perhaps most importantly, this season has led to renewed social activism from players and teams, whether it be by opening team facilities as voting locations, or by registering players to vote. Yet the final memory of this season will be Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers holding the Larry O’Brien trophy, at the end to a tumultuous year for the team, highlighted by the tragic death of the ultimate Laker, Kobe Bryant.

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