It’s been 20 years since Kobe Bryant won his first of five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant is a part of the Lakers team that won three straight NBA finals. No other team has done that since.
Ever since Bryant came into the league, he wanted to win multiple championships. And he did just that. His legacy will always be remembered from generation to generation. Bryant cemented his name as one of the best in NBA history.
That first championship for Bryant was special, and he and the Lakers worked hard to get it.
The road to Bryant’s first title
The 2000 Los Angeles Lakers basketball team finished the season as the top team in the Western Conference with a 67-15 record. That year Bryant finished the regular season averaging 22.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, and 4.9 apg. The Laker guard was named an NBA all-star for the second time in his career.
Bryant also was named to the All-NBA Second Team and NBA All-Defensive First Team.
Going into the 2000 playoffs, the Lakers were favorites to win it all. And the team did not disappoint. Throughout the playoffs, Bryant averaged 21.1 ppg. His 1.5 blocks per game were the most in his playoff career.
The road to the finals was not an easy one. The Lakers battled a tough Portland Trail Blazers team in the Western Conference Finals, which took seven games to decide a winner. Bryant stepped up in Game 7 to help secure the victory and lead his team to the finals.
2000 NBA title against the Indiana Pacers
With the help of Shaquille O’Neal, the Lakers needed six games to defeat the Pacers. Bryant injured himself in game two of the finals and missed game three. But in the fourth game, he made his return and helped the Lakers pull out a close 120-118 win. He finished the game with 28 points, five assists, and four rebounds.
Game six was the O’Neal and Bryant show, Bryant finished with 26 points, and O’Neal had 40 to help lead the Lakers to its first NBA championship since 1988. The Lakers were back on top of the basketball world.
More titles to come for Kobe Bryant
After winning the championship in 2000, Bryant wanted to earn more. The Lakers would go on to win the next two become the first team since the Chicago Bulls to three-peat. Bryant’s following two titles would come in 2009 and 2010 team as the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics and the Orlando Magic.
A lot of people questioned if Bryant can win another ring without O’Neal, and he proved those people wrong. During the 2009 playoffs, Bryant averaged 30.2 ppg, and he averaged 29.2 ppg in the 2010 playoffs. He was named NBA Finals MVP both years.
To see Bryant, win those last two championships lets you see how he never gave up. He continued to put the work in and put his team in the best position to come out victorious. He meant so much to the Lakers’ organization and the city of Los Angeles.