The LA Lakers have won the 2020 NBA Championship. What started out as a grueling battle between 22 teams in Orlando 3 months ago ended on Sunday night with all but one team eliminated. The LA Lakers had to go through unprecedented circumstances and challenges - both on and off the floor - in 2020. While it's not easy to compare this one with the previous years, here are 5 reasons why the 2019-20 NBA Championship was the toughest title to win in history.
5 reasons why LA Lakers' 2019-20 NBA Championship was the toughest title to win:
Before the teams even entered the Orlando bubble, reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo called this year's title 'the toughest championship you could ever win'. While it didn't entail any extra hardships from a physical standpoint, it demanded a Herculean effort from LeBron James and his LA Lakers squad. Here are 5 reasons why winning it in 2019-20 was tougher than any previous years:
#5. The mid-season pandemic outbreak
Things were running smoothly back in March as the NBA was getting closer to the end of the 2019-20 regular season. That is when Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert first contacted the coronavirus, and the NBA was soon suspended indefinitely.
What followed was 4 months of uncertainty and panic. Though the games restarted in July in Orlando, players had to go through extreme precautions and quarantine protocols for weeks before entering the bubble.
While one may argue that this mid-season break gave players like LA Lakers superstar LeBron James a chance to recover physically, it threw them off their regular practice routines and the teams had to improvise at the last moment in order to get back to their rhythm in Orlando.
#4. Dynamic duos and a level playing field
For as long as we can remember, every NBA season started with one or two teams as the overwhelming favorites to win it all. The Golden State Warriors were clearly the best team for the past 5 years, and most of the playoff matchups were a mere formality.
But the era of 'big 3s' and dynasties was over and this season was all about dynamic duos. Even though the LA Lakers, the LA Clippers, and the Milwaukee Bucks were the favorites on paper, there were more than 6 teams that had a realistic chance to win the Championship.
Though some of these 'favorites' didn't make it to the later stages of the playoffs and only the LeBron James-Anthony Davis duo with the LA Lakers prevailed, the teams had to still work that much harder to earn their spot in the regular season.