Now that it’s over, and the Los Angeles Lakers are champions after defeating the Miami Heat in game 6 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night, it’s perfectly appropriate to call this one of the best seasons the league has ever had.
Perhaps not from the most enjoyable standpoint, but from the most important.
The season faced unprecedented challenges this year preceded by the death of a basketball legend.
We lost Kobe Bryant in January and the sports world mourned for quite a long time. Many of us still miss his presence from the game everyday. Teams all over the league honored him and carried on playing with sadness. His old team are now champions, becoming the best for the opportunity to honor him.
And right when players and coaches attempted to get back to normal from that loss, COVID disrupted the planet, and the most pivotal moment of the pandemic happened right before a basketball game. It was on that March evening where the shutdowns occurred and put all of our lives on hold for months. The term new normal isn’t a fond one but for the time being, things have changed.
The league formed a bubble in Orlando and not one. Worth repeating. Not one. Positive test. Phenomenal.
And when we saw protests in the streets all over the country, players took a stand and finally harnessed their power to use their platform for change. There still is a lot of work to do, but everyone understands that playing this game and delivering joy to it’s fans is a power that can be used for good.
It’s absolutely not a stretch to call this the most important NBA season ever. Everyone involved should be proud of themselves.
And congratulations to the Los Angeles Lakers. We miss you Kobe.