LeBron tributes Kobe after winning first Lakers title originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
For all intents and purposes, the Lakers’ 17th world championship run wasn’t for LeBron James or Anthony Davis. It was for Kobe Bryant, who tragically passed away in a helicopter crash in January.
Since the day Bryant left us too soon, James and the Lakers carried a different tune throughout the season. Of course they wanted to win to capitalize on a small championship window, but they wanted to make Bryant proud.
James paid tribute to Bryant on Instagram Wednesday night with that same hope.
A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on Oct 14, 2020 at 7:41pm PDT
After clinching arguably the most unique championship ever in a six-game series win over the Heat, it’s hard to imagine Bryant not being proud of his former team.
Now LeBron and Davis will work to do something Kobe did twice with the Lakers: Go back-to-back.
It won’t be easy. The Clippers will want revenge on the Western Conference for their choke job in the second round this year and the Warriors will certainly have something to say with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson back healthy.
Then there’s the Lakers’ lack of depth and limited roster flexibility. They can’t expect to add a superstar like Davis or Bradley Beal every season. They’ll need to make a number of smart signings to give James everything he needs.