It’s been a decade since the Los Angeles Lakers have reached the NBA Finals, and many things have changed since then. Jason Kid and Steve Nash were still playing in the league. There was no bubble that time, only roaring fans in every home game. Kobe was still alive, and not all Centers can shoot threes. We’ve also witnessed one of the great coaches in his last tenure, running the famous triangle and guiding his players to become mentally prepared on the court.
Many players wore the purple and gold in the past ten years, such as Louis Williams, Nick Young, Jeremy Lin, and Pau Gasol. Most of all, I’m sure that fans right now should have probably heard of Robert Sacre, Tarik Black, Huertas, Kendall Marshall, Xavier Henry, and Ryan Kelly. These fans bleed purple and gold as they supported the Lakers in their non-playoff years and deserve to celebrate now that their team has reached the Finals this year.
In the last ten years, the center of attention had also focused on Kobe Bryant when he took his career to the twilight years. We were devastated when we saw him tore his achilles in 2013 as he attempted to get his 6th ring. We were still with him when he came back and blessed to watch his incredible 60-point game on the last day of his NBA career. However, no one has ever predicted what will happen tomorrow, and we were all in shock last January 2020 when his helicopter crashed and took his life, his 13-year old daughter, and seven others.
Rising stars like D’Angelo Russel and Brandon Ingram have started their career in the Lakers but soon found success in other organizations. Russel led the Brooklyn Nets in the playoffs last 2019, and Ingram got nominated as the most improved player in 2020- both of them became All-Star. What would’ve happened if both of them had stayed with the Lakers? Probably they wouldn’t get Kuzma and Davis.
Lebron James – ah yes, the King, 4-time MVP along with dozens of recognition under his name. What else can we say about him? He’s already in his mid-thirties and still plays like in his prime. There is a lot of goat conversation going on, and definitely, you cannot take away his name out of it. In the past decade, he played with the Cavs, Heat, then back to Cavs, and finally found his way to the Lakers. Lebron has been the player who takes teams to the championship. He did it with the Cavs and Heat. The Lakers are now counting on him, along with Anthony Davis.
Anthony Davis wasn’t even in the NBA when the Lakers last reached the Finals. He got drafted by the New Orleans Hornets last 2012 as the first overall pick and has established himself as one of the top players in the NBA. The Lebron-AD duo leads the Lakers back in the finals after ten years. They are now again the favorite to win and have redeemed the franchise to its rightful place. You can’t take away the pressure and expectations, mostly when the team is now filled with stars and veterans who have experienced the playoffs or appeared in the NBA Finals.
A lot of things have changed in the last ten years. As we face a pandemic and people should stay indoors, the NBA has established The Bubble in Orlando, where the players resume the league with no live audiences. The NBA Finals will now be played with no live audiences, no home-court advantages, totally a different atmosphere with lots of distancing and other safety measures to help stop the spread of the virus.
Can the Lakers finish as champions in this “new normal” type of season? Whatever happens, fans would still rejoice as their team gave them hope these difficult times. Seeing their favorite team in the past ten years and finally made its way back on top with or without championship is already a huge win.
How about you? What are your thoughts about the Lakers reaching the finals after ten years? Let me know in the comment section.