The Los Angeles Lakers are the NBA champions in the league’s first Bubble Tournament. Say it with me.
First, there were comments made that today’s NBA champion cannot be considered as a true champion, owing to the fact that it was played in a shortened season and taken out from its customary home-and-away format where the fans would serve as a virtual sixth man and should have given each team a better chance of winning
Cut the crap. The Denver Nuggets were able to stun title favorites Los Angeles Clippers in seven games, this after clawing their way back from a 3-1 deficit and that series meltdown forced Clippers management to boot out Doc Rivers as coach.
We also saw the Miami Heat beating the beast in the East—the Milwaukee Bucks—in just five games in the semifinals before disposing of title pretender Boston Celtics in six games of their conference finals. The Heat did this in the old fashioned way by willing themselves to victory.
It’s no surprising the Heat, despite their underdog status, were at least able to push the Lakers to the limit for several games in the championship series.
Now comes another issue that five of the Lakers’ 17 championships, which put them in a tie with the Boston Celtics for most number of NBA crowns won, should not be given to them.
I’m still having difficulty imagining the hate on this storied franchise. Those rationalizing that these five titles should be taken out from the Lakers’ championship collection are just doing it for a sole purpose—hatred. They’ve been carrying the name, Lakers, all along and it just so happened that the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1960.
True, there’s a question lingering until now: why was George Mikan’s number not retired? Whether it’s something political or it has something to do with the NBA’s first dominant big man being the first commissioner of the rival league, American Basketball Association or anything else, is still mind boggling and the Lakers had to give him justice by honoring the man.
But that shouldn’t be a case to remove the five championships this franchise won, led by this big buy as he helped the Lakers to become the first NBA dynasty. He is, after all, a Laker.
Officially, it’s 17. Tied with bitter rival Celtics for most number of titles. Stop the hate, whether you like it or not, it’s in the record books that they are tied on top. Never mind if the Celtics had beaten the Lakers so many times before. Boston had its share of heartaches, too, against LA—the ‘85,’ 87, and 2010 finals.
Since winning its 16th title in 1986, the Celtics had won just once while the Lakers won eight, including back-to-back in 1987 and 1988 and a three-peat in 2000, 2001 and 2002.
Over the past four decades, the Lakers were able to produce dynamic duos that helped them established dynasties in different eras. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson (1980, 1982, 1985), Johnson and James Worthy (1987 and 1988), Shaquille O’Neal and the late great Kobe Bryant (2000, 2001 and 2002), and Bryant and Pau Gasol (2009 and 2010) and now we’re ushering the new era of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who combined forces in giving Los Angeles its latest championship.
The Lakers are a great organization. Period.
It’s just frustrating that at the hour of their greatness, people would rather see the flaws of this team than show their appreciation. There are still active haters of LeBron, no question about that. There will always be comparisons on who’s the greatest, but rather than make comparisons, why don’t you, real fans of basketball, cherish the moment. Great players and great teams had their own uniqueness and making comparisons will be a never ending debate.
As for the championships, a record is a record and it’s official.
Whoever thought of putting an asterisk on the 61 home runs made by Roger Maris in 1961 when he broke the old record of Babe Ruth for most home runs because of a longer season is stupid.
Taking the five championships away from LA because it happened in Minneapolis is equally crazy.