The Los Angeles Lakers survived the longest season in NBA history to claim their 17th championship with a Finals victory over the Miami Heat. LeBron James made history by winning Finals MVP honors with a third team, Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard added titles to their respective resumes, Rajon Rondo tasted victory on both sides of the Lakers-Boston Celtics rivalry and Alex Caruso added to his legend as a fan favorite with his own series-clinching contributions in Game 6. But the story arc of this squad bends much further back than just a six-game series against Jimmy Butler and company, further back than the bubble at Disney World in Orlando, further back than even the start of this particular journey in September 2019, when Frank Vogel’s triumphant Purple and Gold squad gathered for training camp in El Segundo.
On this week’s episode of Hollywood Hoops, Eric Pincus and Josh Martin recount the full scope of the organization’s path back to the top of the basketball world for the first time since 2010. Our co-hosts consider the twists and turns of the last decade, from Dr. Jerry Buss’ death and Dwight’s departure to the Buss family’s sibling rivalry and Magic Johnson’s tumultuous tenure in the front office. Amid that milieu, they reconsider the legacies of Jeanie Buss, Rob Pelinka and Coach Vogel, all of whom took calculated risks that paid off this season.
Eric and Josh also look at what each player on the roster contributed to this year’s run and what they all got out of it, and take time to consider where this team fits into the hallowed halls of Lakers lore. While the 2020 title is something to celebrate, the franchise’s history of sustained success means LeBron and AD have a long way to go before they can truly etch their names alongside the likes of Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, Magic and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, and Kobe and Pau Gasol.
00:00 – Lakers Clinch the Finals
13:26 – Purple and Gold Redemption
27:53 – Fun Facts and Firsts From This Run
45:53 – LeBron, AD and Lakers History