When the Los Angeles Lakers clinched the NBA championship in 2020, it marked a triumphant moment for the franchise. With LeBron James securing his fourth ring, it appeared to be a redemption story for all involved, and the Lakers’ winning legacy was reignited.
However, post-title celebrations, doubts surfaced regarding the authenticity of their victory. Some speculated that the Lakers’ championship ring was a counterfeit triumph due to the unusual circumstances surrounding the games played within the Disney World bubble—a precautionary measure adopted in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Yet, it’s important to remember that every team invited to participate in the bubble had an equal opportunity to compete for the title. Despite the challenging circumstances, it was the Lakers who emerged victorious. Over time, several individuals have stepped forward in defense of the Lakers’ 2020 championship, highlighting the extraordinary challenges they faced.
Joining the ranks of those defending the Lakers is long-time trade target Damian Lillard. In a recent episode of the BACKONFIGG podcast, Lillard passionately voiced his support for the Lakers’ title win in 2020. Lillard had a firsthand view of the Lakers’ prowess when he and the Portland Trail Blazers squared off against them in the playoffs’ opening round. Although the Lakers ultimately triumphed in five games, Portland managed to secure a victory in the series’ initial encounter.
“I felt like that was the best version of me to that point,” Dame said. “I don’t understand what people mean when they talk about not giving [the Lakers] credit. I thought it would have been hard to win that because people was fresh.”
For those who continue to question the legitimacy of the Lakers’ 2020 championship, Lillard had a compelling response at the ready:
“It’s heartening to witness fellow players rallying behind the Lakers’ championship. True basketball enthusiasts comprehend the reality of what transpired in the bubble—the Lakers were, without a doubt, the superior team.”
It’s worth noting that prior to the season’s suspension, the Los Angeles Lakers had firmly established themselves as one of the league’s top contenders. They were riding a wave of success, securing back-to-back victories against formidable opponents, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Clippers, before the league’s abrupt hiatus.
“It count to me,” Dame added. “You got to look at it like this, ‘Why don’t it count? Nobody else won it. Everybody else had the same opportunity to win it. So, why didn’t they win it?'”
While the bubble experience wasn’t the preferred scenario for anyone involved, it did offer a unique and level playing field for all teams. The Lakers capitalized on this opportunity to showcase their excellence and secure the championship that had eluded them for years.