In the NBA, a ‘W’ weighs even more when it is a very hard-fought for W. Easy wins do not make champions, they just produce small-time winners. When LeBron James‘ Lakers won the 2020 NBA title, critics were quick to judge their win and call it an easier one.
A recent comment made by LeBron James hinted towards the complete opposite. On a podcast, Bron proudly claimed, “I’ve been a part of two teams that won the two hardest championships in NBA league history”. He was referring to his 2016 win for the Cavs and the most recent one for the Lakers.
How was Blazers’ Damian Lillard dragged into this tough-easy war?
Damian Lillard is known for being very creative and vocal on Twitter. Just a week before Bron’s interview, Dame had called the NBA games in the Orlando bubble “way easier”. This comment from the star player was paraphrased wrongly, and people believed he was discounting LeBron’s fourth championship win.
Just as the comment picked up heat and Bron’s comments surfaced, the 30-YO posted his clarification and expressed, “Bron is right…What I’m saying made it easier to play well… we all had the same advantage … no travel, instant recovery options, no home/away crowd, no time change… more rest…which means it will be harder to WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP.”
So all Lillard was stating was the fact that the players were more focused inside the bubble and that they had no away-court disadvantage. And because this made things equally easy for all the teams, it made winning the title that much harder.
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Why was this win for LeBron James’ Lakers so much difficult?
Before the 17th championship win, fans saw a 10-year wait after that last crowning glory under Kobe Bryant’s leadership. They had to endure a couple of forgetful seasons in order to finally attract the right talent to drive the momentum. Only the likes of Jeanie Buss, Magic Johnson, and the long-associated coaches would know about the ordeal.
The Lakers, in the Bubble, were devoid of the home-court advantage even after ranking #1 in WC. Plus, they were largely dependent on their star duos with a very inconsistent bench performance. The aging Bron was always under threat of a possible injury. Even after all of this, they became the ultimate champions, while teams like Clippers and the Bucks could not even reach conference finals.
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