The objective has been completed. At or around June 15, 2019 when another cornerstone piece was added it became apparent on paper that the promised land was an inevitable destination. ANOTHONY DAVIS will join LeBRON JAMES as Los Angeles Lakers?!?! Can I get a what, what!!!! Let’s strap in and enjoy the show offered by the 2019-2020 National Basketball Association season. Things got dark on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020 when the greatest player in the history of the Lakers franchise, Kobe Bryant and nine others met their demise in a helicopter crash in Calabasas California. With an added boost of motivation how can they not succeed right? They didn’t. The season culminated Oct. 11 with the Lakers winning the deciding game Six with the score 106-93. LeBron James put up numbers of 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the Lakers to their 17th league championship in franchise history and first since 2010. That stat line was commensurate of James who would be honored as the Finals MVP for the fourth time in his career, while winning the fourth championship of his career; becoming the only player in NBA history to have taken that trophy with three different franchises. In a postgame interview for ESPN, LeBron James put his place in NBA lore into perspective saying, “I have a way that I play the game. I have a way that I lead. I have a way that I challenge my guys and challenge myself. More importantly at the end of my career I just hope I made a lot of people proud for the way I approached the game.” Perennial All Star, Anthony Davis––who celebrated his first championship season––surmised the ingredients to make the endgame plausible with: “Two alpha males who put everything to the side (no ego’s, no jealousy) and go out there and compete. I told him I would give everything I got to win a championship, he told me he will do the same; and we go out there and get it done. It wasn’t smooth all the way. We had our moments on the court/off the court, but we knew what our goal was and that was for us to be champions.”
Those words by Davis were as sweet as that 3-point buzzer beater to beat the Denver Nuggets in game two of the conference Finals, but can those beautiful sentiments be applied to the ugly truth that life in 2020 has become?
Listening to Magic Johnson in his assessment of the coronation of his former team as the new NBA Champs is a head scratcher. “When you think about everything that the Los Angeles Lakers had to go through this season, especially the death of Kobe Bryant and his beautiful daughter, you think about coronavirus stopping the season,” he continued, “And then our great commissioner Adam Silver saying we are going to finish this season and have a season, creating this bubble. Adam was smart enough to get with the doctors and scientist to create a healthy, safe environment for the players and then they players having to decide if they were going to go.”
Conspicuously absent from the lists of obstacles was what? (We’ll chalk it up to being caught up in the euphoria of his franchise; accomplishments). The one thing that we knew would fade from the collective conscious of society; brothers dying. Not gonna front, I was part of the crew that thought playing ball was the least of our concerns and if anybody could relate to that frequency would be young men who comprise the workforce of the National Basketball Association. Living is what’s paramount, not living to entertain! What better show of strength would there have been other than not playing? We got a taste when yet another shooting incident occurred, but after a few days it was back to the hardwood.
Coincidental? If that’s the line of thinking well, consider this. Reports indicate that the NBA Playoffs rating were reported to be at a record low. The speculation is that players being given an opportunity to voice their concerns during the course of the game was THE sole factor of such. I guess the decision against the officers in the Breonna Taylor murder (add the flippant remarks of the case made by NBA Hall of Famers Shaq and Barkley) and the release on bond of Derek Chauvin, the police officer chiefly responsible for the death of George Floyd, weren’t of import as long as the games continued.
Whether a proven theory or not, the speculation resonated. NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed the concerns going forward by stating, “I would say, in terms of the messages you see on the court and our jerseys, this was an extraordinary moment in time when we began these discussions with the players and what we all lived through this summer. My sense is there will be somewhat of a return to normalcy that those messages will largely be left to be delivered off the floor.” He continued by stating, “the NBA will remain completely committed to standing for social justice and racial equality. The league will just have to figure out other ways moving forward.”
Back to life. Back to reality! Over and out. Holla next week. Til then, enjoy the nightlife.