Amid Pandemic and Kobe’s Death: Lakers’ Championship Definitely Not in a Bubble


Dominic Sama, Staff Writer

For the first time since 2010, the Los Angeles Lakers have won the NBA Finals, the 17th time for the franchise. Led by multiple high-powered and highly regarded players including Lebron James, Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo, they competed in a surprisingly contentious series against the Miami Heat.
Many sports prognosticators from different sports networks and social media predicted an easy win for LA in about four or five games. In Game Five, when the Lakers were up in the series 3-1 and could have easily taken the title, Miami guard Jimmy Butler scored 35 points and led the Heat to a three-point win over the Lakers. At that point, Lebron James and the Lakers knew that they had to take over Game 6 and not look back. That is exactly what they did and won the final game in dominating fashion, 106-93, with James winning the Finals MVP award.
This was a bittersweet moment not just for the Lakers organization, but the entire league and its fans. Of course, we are in the middle of a pandemic, but this is also in the wake of the death of former Laker and NBA Hall of Famer, Kobe Bryant, who died in January in a tragic helicopter crash along with his daughter Gianna and eight others.
For Lebron James, after winning two titles with the Miami Heat and one with his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, this was one of the most emotional moments for him to receive a title including winning it with Bryant’s former team. James and Bryant had grown close as both of their careers progressed and as they both started winning their multitude of NBA titles.
This is the first season ever in NBA history to have no physical audience attending games and no traveling outside the bubble whatsoever. Each game was held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, where the league invited 22 of its 30 teams to play in the bubble where players and coaches would receive routine testing for COVID-19. Throughout the entire season, there was no spread or even a single case of the virus that would possibly “pop” the bubble.
Fans are now already asking, “What will happen next season?” Based on talks from league officials and certain sports insiders, it remains uncertain as to exactly when the new season will begin. Timetables will be based around the ongoing pandemic and how badly it may still impact everyone in the future. The new season is slated to begin around December or January 2021; however, this is all subject to change depending on how high or low the number of cases go in the next few months.