Video Credit: NBA

The Los Angeles Lakers: 2020 NBA World Champions

Los Angeles Lakers (16-5) |  Miami Heat (14-6)


The Lakers came out and dominanted the Heat to clinch the series and the franchise’s 17th world championship.



Photo Credit: NY Times

After letting Game 5 slip away, the Los Angeles Lakers knew not to miss out on another opportunity to clinch the series. The Miami Heat were still alive and looking to keep their momentum rolling with the addition of Goran Dragic back in the lineup. But after Friday’s loss to the Heat, Game 6 on Sunday looked like it could have been anybody’s. Would the Lakers bounce back and learn from their mistakes? Or would Miami keep it pushing and extend the series to seven?

Well, Los Angeles quickly answered that question and any other. They killed any hopes the Heat had of coming back from down 3-2 to win the series. The Lake Show came out like prize horses with blinders on, sprinting to the finish line that is the Larry O’Brien Trophy. They were everywhere on the floor and played with 110% energy to straight out dominate the Heat in every facet of the game in the first half.


You can just tell that they realized they were wrong to let the last game slip away and they would do whatever it took to not let that happen again. The Lakers were going to leave the arena that night as world champions.



Lakers vs Heat
Photo Credit: LA Times

Anthony Davis played like a dominant force who was not to be messed with, leading the Lakers in scoring with 15 points on 6-11 (54%) shooting going into halftime. He was dunking on put backs and blocking shots on the other side of the floor. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope continued to step up in the bigger stages, also being everywhere on the floor on offense and defense. He finished the first half with 15 points on 5-10 (50%) from the floor and 2-5 (40%) from three.

But it all started with LeBron James, who set the tone as the leader of this team, with cornerback-looking steals on defense and thunderous slam dunks on fast breaks. Going into the half, he finished already with a near double-double, with 11 points, nine rebounds, and six assists. James shot an impressive 5-8 (62.5%) from the field.

Los Angeles also received huge minutes from the veteran savvy point guard Rajon Rondo. The championship-winning guard shot a perfect 6-6 to go into halftime with 13 points. He brought the second gear of energy off the bench that sparked a dominant run that led to the Lakers’ huge lead. Except for Duncan Robinson knocking down two quick three-pointers to start the game, the Heat had a difficult time scoring. Jimmy Butler and Jae Crowder both led Miami in scoring at the half with only eight points each.


Essentially, this game was over by halftime. The Lake Show was flirting with the 30 point mark margin of victory towards the end of the second quarter but went into the half up 28 points, 64-36.


Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

Davis followed the King’s lead with a near double-double of 22 points and nine rebounds. He also shot an impressive 8-16 (50%) from the field and 2-4 (50%) from the beyond the arc, including that dagger shot with 30 seconds left in the game. Caldwell-Pope finished the game with 15 points on 6-12 (50%) shooting and 3-8 (37.5%) from three. After struggling in the past few games, Danny Green also finished in double figures with 10 points on 4-8 (50%) shooting from the floor and 2-6 (33%) from behind the arc.

Butler almost had himself another triple-double with 22 points, ten rebounds, and nine assists. He led the Heat in scoring by shooting 8-17 (47%). Tyler Herro was right behind him with 21 points on 8-18 (44%) shooting from the floor and 3-7 (42.8) from three. Duncan Robinson was able to help score 17 points on 4-7 (57.1%) shooting from the field and 3-6 (50%) from the beyond the arc. In his first game since Game 1, Adebayo finished with 15 points on 6-8 (75%) shooting.

When the final buzzer ended, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Heat 106-93, a score not indicative of the beat down the Lakers put on the Heat. LeBron hoisted the NBA Finals MVP Trophy for the fourth time and cemented his Lakers‘ legacy with Lakers faithful.


With the win, the Lakers now find themselves tied with the Boston Celtics with 17 NBA Championships. The Lakers now have 11 championships since 1980, while Boston has “only” 4. FSM’s Joe Arrigo will now look back and see how the 2020 World Champion Los Angeles Lakers were constructed and what went into building them behind the scenes.


(So let me start by saying this: I am taking over this portion of the article because a certain someone is celebrating the Lakers‘ victory over the Heat and is feeling pretty good right about now, while I have to work. No, I am not a little jealous; I’m a LOT jealous of Isaiah’s situation! He’s partying in the streets with Laker Nation. I hope he has his mask on… In all seriousness, I am more than happy to do this under these circumstances. – Joe Arrigo)


As a person who has witnessed 11 of the Lakers 17 titles in my lifetime, there isn’t ANYTHING like driving around Southern California seeing a sea of Lakers flags hanging out of windows, or attending a Championship parade with hundreds of thousands of Lakers fans. The Lakers are the team that Los Angeles identifies with the most and are most passionate about. That’s what makes this title so sweet, having the worst period in team history FINALLY over. It is also bittersweet knowing that Kobe Bryant won’t be around to celebrate with the organization and Lakers Nation.


Photo Credit: Silver Screen and Roll

For five years, the Lakers were historically bad. They were starting to become the NBA’s laughing stock, something that the fan base and quite frankly the organization was not accustomed to or OK with. A little more than a year earlier, Lakers Governer Jeanie Buss decided to clean house. She fired longtime GM Mitch Kupchak, longtime Director of Communications John Black, and her brother, Jim Buss. She then hired Lakers legend Magic Johnson as the team’s Vice President of Basketball Operations and Kobe Bryant’s former agent, Rob Pelinka, as the Lakers General Manager.

Their job was to bring order back to the Lakers. To do that, they needed to acquire a superstar that would also help bring others to Los Angeles. Paul George, who was playing for the Indiana Pacers at that time, was linked to LA. Kawhi Leonard was another player who was rumored to be interested in coming home to play in Southern California.

Magic and Rob had their eye on an even bigger prize, but it would mean they would have to take a significant risk trying to land him when he became available. That player was arguably the NBA’s greatest player and the best player of his generation, LeBron James. The King was coming off another NBA Finals and fresh off helping capture the first title for his hometown Cavaliers. Would he really want to leave Cleaveland again to chase a ring? Why would he want to go to the Lakers who were not the same organization that was competing for titles year in and year out?


Magic and Rob had a plan. They had to start to execute in free agency during their first year of running the Lakers.


Lakers vs Heat
Photo Credit: Jae C. Hong

The key was when the Lakers signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. KCP is a member of Klutch Sports Group, the sports agency that James‘ business partner Rich Paul runs. Magic and Rob were playing chess. While the signing was a solid one on the court, what it did off the court and the door it was going to open was what they were really going for. Up until that point, the Lakers had zero Klutch Sports clients. That meant Paul or any other agency member wasn’t at Lakers’ games on a regular.

More importantly, there was no relationship between the two parties.

“I guess I’ll start as I often do with a story,” Pelinka said at the press conference. “I would venture to guess there’s people in the room familiar with the stories in the Book of Genesis, where there was a time when the Israelites were wandering in the desert, and all [of a] sudden bread came down from heaven. That’s kind of what today feels like for us to have KCP join.”

Most media members chuckled or had a smart ass comment about Pelinka saying this, but what he was saying without saying anything was that there was a bigger end game, one that involved a King. With the signing of KCP, the Lakers could now call Klutch at any time to have a conversation, and if that conversation went in different directions, then hey, it’s all hypothetical, right?!


That season it became apparent that James was more than willing to leave Cleveland, and the Lakers knew they had to make the most of their opportunity to possibly land James.


There are plenty of reasons why James decided to leave Cleveland, all of which are true and well known to NBA fans. But the relationship between Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and James was the deciding factor. James had enough of Gilbert, his antics, and his meddling, so it was time for LeBron to move on. He was linked to the Heat, the New York Knicks, the Golden State Warriors, the Clippers, and the Lakers.

Something that people don’t know is that LeBron grew up idolizing Kobe. He had pictures of NBA greats like Jordan, Magic, Kevin Garnett, Allen Iverson, and others on his bedroom wall in Akron, Ohio. But Kobe had a wall. LeBron felt like he was chasing Bryant, not Michael Jordan. Part of James‘ attraction to the Lakers was due to Bryant’s influence on him. He also knew that the only team in NBA history that wouldn’t be overshadowed by his legacy would be the Lakers, and if he could bring them back to glory, his legacy would change drastically.

After that season, another season that saw the Lakers fail to make the playoffs and secure the second overall pick in the NBA Draft, James was ready to begin his free-agent tour, and the Lakers were prepared to land The King. On Saturday, June 30th, 2018, at 9 pm pacific standard time when free-agency opened, Magic was at James’ LA mansion ready to meet with him, his team, and pitch them on joining the Lakers. They met for several hours, and with other James camp members, they started to talk about how they could construct a team to compete for a title by working together.

During that meeting, Johnson said James knew all about his team.  “He (LeBron) broke down every player on our team. Their strengths and weaknesses. He already knew the guys on our team. I was very impressed with that.” Johnson told Jimmy Kimmel.


Lakers vs Heat
Photo Credit: Klutch Sports Group

James assured the Lakers that this was a long-term play for him, and his decision wouldn’t be affected by a single transaction the Lakers could make under time pressure. James made it clear that this latest NBA-altering decision would be made with basketball and his family in mind. On July 1st, James signed a four-year, $153.3 million contract to lead the Lakers back to prominence.

That season, the Lakers were playing really good ball, but James pulled his groin on Christmas Day, and the Lakers season was essentially over. James wasn’t the same player dealing with the injury, and with young players like Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and Brandon Ingram leading the way, the season was doomed.

What also happened was the New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis, another Klutch Sports client, asked to be traded, specifically to the Lakers so he could team up with LeBron. The entire league knew what AD wanted, and they knew LeBron and the Lakers also wanted it, so they weren’t going to make it easy, or if they had their way, allow it to happen at all. Magic tried unsuccessfully on multiple occasions to trade for Davis. The Pelicans had no intention to deal him to the Lakers, but Davis held all the cards. He told New Orleans that he would only consider signing a long term deal with a certain team, the Lakers. So any team trading for him would have to understand it was a high risk to obtain him.

But the drama continued to surround the Lakers. Magic Johnson publicly resigned to media members in the player’s parking garage at Staple Center, to the surprise of everyone, including Jeanie Buss, who learned of the resignation on TV. Pelinka was now the person in charge and running the Lakers. Would he be able to right the Lakers’ ship, or would he also fail?


Finally on June 17th, 2019, Anthony Davis was traded to the Lakers and it was clear the Lakers were trying to win a title in 2020.


Lakers vs Heat
Photo Credit: Bleacher Report

The Pelicans agreed to send Anthony Davis to the Lakers in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks. Frank Vogel was hired to lead the Lakers as the head coach. He put together a staff that featured Jason Kidd, Lionel Hollins, and Phil Handy. He was a coach that players love to play for and a staff that would emphasize defense.

Trading for AD was the first on-the-court move of an offseason that would reshape the Lakers from a team with an aging superstar to a team that was once again a destination for high profile players. Unlike the offseason before, Pelinka added shooters and players who played defense (three-and-D guys) that fit James and Davis‘ style of play. The Lakers also went out and signed or resigned Rajon Rondo, Javale McGee, DeMarcus Cousins, Avery Bradley, Quinn Cook, Jared Dudley, and the man who got it all started, KCP.

But the Lakers were also trying to add another superstar, namely Leonard. The rumor was that he was going to sign with the Lakers, and they would have their own “Big 3,” but he threw a curveball instead, telling the Clippers he would sign there if they traded for Paul George, who spurned the Lakers the prior offseason to stay in OKC. The Clippers got a deal done for PG-13, Leonard went to the Clippers, and the Lakers then signed Danny Green.

But just before the start of the season, Boogie Cousins tore his ACL, and the Lakers made one of the best signings in the NBA’s history, bringing Dwight Howard back to LA. The deal was non-guaranteed until February 1st and was for the veteran minimum. This was a risky deal considering how he left the first time he was with Los Angeles. How would he fit in with this current group? Howard and the Lakers fit perfectly into a role that had Howard coming off the bench to be the energy guy who had to play defense and rebound. He thrived in that role, and it played a huge role in the Lakers winning their 17th title.

Pelinka then signed Markieff Morris (another Klutch Sports client), Dion Waiters, and when Bradley opted out of playing in the bubble, JR Smith to round out the roster. Morris played a critical role and hit big shots in the playoffs for the Lakers. James, now on the Lakers, had the type of teammates that loved basketball and had the same goal in mind as him: Bring the Lakers another title and back to the preeminent NBA franchise.


So, what’s next for the Lakers?


We haven’t even had the victory parade, and I am already looking to “what’s next?” First, the NBA has to tell us when the offseason and the regular season, for that matter, will begin. But it starts with locking up Davis long-term, or short-term if he wants to wait a year or two before signing a “Super Max” deal to stay in LA. The bond Davis and James have created is tight, and the pair will likely remain intact for the foreseeable future. The Lakers will have to decide whether to bring back Howard, McGee, Morris, Waiters, or Smith. They also could package Kuzma, who will be in the final year of his rookie deal, and others for another player to help them try to repeat. The Lakers are back to being a destination spot, and players are looking to come to Los Angeles.


No one has any clue as to what will happen right now. Lakers Nation (including Isaiah Torres), and the entire Lakers organization is celebrating the Lakers 17th title, and that should be the priority. What I do know is Franchise Sports Media will be right there covering the Lakers offseason moves. The 70213 Lakers Podcast will be aired every Tuesday on our homepage, YouTube page, Periscope, and FaceBook.


Congratulations to the 2020 NBA Champions Los Angeles Lakers…

(Damn that reads well!)



2020 NBA Finals Recap:

  • Game 1 – Lakers 116 – Heat 98
  • Game 2 – Lakers 124 – Heat 114
  • Game 3 – Heat 115 – Lakers 104
  • Game 4 – Lakers 102 – Heat 96
  • Game 5 – Heat 111 – Lakers 108
  • Game 6 – Lakers 106 – Heat 93



Isaiah Torres

Twitter: Isaiah_Torres24

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