March 2, 2024

After a series and season marked by delays as well as precautions and restrictions due to COVID-19, the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in game six of the National Basketball Association’s Finals Series to win their 17th championship title.

According to the NBA’s official game recap, the Lakers bested the Heat 103-93 to finish the season and win the series 4-2.

“LeBron James goes off for a triple-double to help Los Angeles win their 17th championship over the Miami Heat,” the NBA’s official website said.

All games of the 2020 NBA Finals were held at Disney World in Florida as a result of health and safety measures instituted because of the coronavirus pandemic. The lack of travel between locations marked an unusual change for any professional athletics championship. These and other safety measures, however, were there to ensure the health of the safety of the athletes, coaches and staff, and they were largely effective at keeping everyone involved safe.

One of the most drastic changes to the NBA season in general, in addition to the postseason, was the lack of spectators. The NBA was able to integrate “virtual fans” into the games, but no spectators were allowed inside the arena during the Finals. These and other changes do not appear to have affected the overall fan experience, with basketball fans across the country tuning in to watch the games.

When asked about his reaction to the Laker’s win, Miles Ward, junior marketing major, said, “I was upset since I am a Celtics fan to be quite honest. They have now tied the Celtics for total championships with 17.”

Despite his personal misgivings about the team that won, Ward said, “Regarding my experience, I think there were some hard-fought and competitive games. Given where we are currently, it was nice to have a break and be entertained by that.”

The Laker’s championship win comes after the stunning death of the retired Laker legend Kobe Bryant earlier this year. Even for those who did not watch the entirety of the NBA Finals Series, many were touched by the tribute the Lakers gave to Kobe Bryant and his family.

“I actually was not able to watch the finals, but I was happy to see the Lakers win and give homage to Kobe as he was one of the greats and [his death] was a tragedy,” said David McKenna, sophomore nursing major at CBU.

The Lakers, NBA, and basketball fans were able to come together at the end of the series and honor Kobe Bryant. His legacy as one of the greatest Lakers players and an NBA legend was especially noted in the wake of his tragic death.

The stirring tribute to Kobe Bryant marked the end of an exciting NBA Finals Series for the season

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