In a year of the impossible, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James achieved the expected.
A global pandemic, life in a bubble, and the strangest NBA season in history couldn’t stop LeBron and the Lakers from winning the NBA Finals. Nearly a full calendar year after the 2019-20 season began, James ended it with a Game 6 victory over the Miami Heat.
How did James celebrate winning his first title with the Los Angeles Lakers? A cigar and an iPhone certainly helped.
LeBron James is a champion once again
As many seemingly expected when the 2019-20 NBA season began so long ago, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers ended the NBA Finals with a victory.
James, 36 in December, won his fourth Bill Russell Finals MVP for the fourth time in his career. The second-year Lakers star finished Game 6 with 28 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists in a 106-93 victory over Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat.
James averaged 29.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 8.5 assists in the Finals.
This is James’ fourth NBA Finals trophy and his first since he and the Cleveland Cavaliers overcame a 3-1 deficit in 2016. Los Angeles hadn’t won the NBA Finals since Kobe Bryant and the Lakers held off the Boston Celtics in 2010.
The Western Conference has won five of the last seven NBA championships.
LeBron James persevered in a season of adversity
It isn’t hyperbole anymore to say this may have been the toughest season of LeBron James’ NBA career.
Everything began a year ago, when James received mass criticism for his comments on the NBA’s relationship with China. After James fought Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham’s comments that he should “shut up and dribble,” James effectively told Rockets general manager Daryl Morey to do the same.
Morey found himself in an international controversy when he tweeted a graphic reading, “Fight for Freedom, Stand with Hong Kong.”
Former Lakers star Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, each died in late-January. The two, The two, along with seven others, passed away after a helicopter crash on January 26 in Calabasas, Calif.
James eulogized the two during a ceremony at the Staples Center, a few days later.
Then came the NBA’s shutdown in March. The toll of a global pandemic, political and societal events, and returning to play appeared to take its toll on James as time went on.
James and his mother celebrated the victory over FaceTime
LeBron James may be a grown man, but he still loves his mother.
James celebrated the Lakers’ championship with a cigar and an iPhone. A viral video captured James on FaceTime with his mother, Gloria.
The video showed James emotionally speaking with his mother about the journey they both had been through.
“There’s nothing that can stop me. This s–t right here is nothing compared to the s–t you had to go through. God is good. I hope I continue to make you proud, mom.”
It is unknown when the Los Angeles Lakers will officially begin their title defense. When that time comes, don’t be surprised to see James put off age for as long as he can and try to finish next season — whenever it ends — with an even five rings.