Former UD Flyer Kostas Antetokounmpo (far left, purple polo shirt) celebrates the Los Angeles Lakers’ NBA Finals win, his first championship. Photo by John Raoux, AP.
Championship for the Ages
On Sunday night, yet another basketball masterpiece was displayed as Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
From the start of the game, the Lakers imposed their will on the Heat as they dominated the paint and rebounds for most of the game. But ultimately, it was the outstanding floor-general leadership of James – named Finals MVP – who finished with 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists.
James, who now has four NBA championships and four Finals MVPs, has once again solidified his spot as one of the best players in NBA history. Although his historic individual Game 5 performance came up short for his team to win the title Friday night, it was the help of his teammates that guided the Lakers to their 17th NBA title.
With the help of his now one-time NBA champion teammate Anthony Davis, who averaged 25 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2 blocks over the course of this series, Davis came up big in moments much needed for the Lakers. Lakers’ guards Rajon Rondo and Kentavius Caldwell-Pope showed how important it is to have playmakers off the bench for championship caliber teams.
Both combined for 36 points in Game 6, while also coming up with key defensive stops in the 1st half that put the Heat away before it reached halftime.
This 2020 championship will be remembered for the ages with not only the unusual circumstances of playing in the bubble but the inspirational run that this team made for the late Kobe Bryant.
Bryant, who played for the Lakers for 20 seasons, was tragically killed by a helicopter crash that took the lives of nine people earlier this year and shook more than just the NBA world. Bryant’s legacy will continue to be lived on throughout the course of history and it’s no question this Lakers team dedicated their win to their mentor.
Former UD basketball members win first NBA Finals
This 2020 championship came as no surprise, and the winning team featured two former Flyers, Kostas Antetokounmpo and Ed Streit, who were a part of the Lakers championship success.
Streit, who was part of Dayton’s basketball program as the strength and conditioning coach during the 2018-19 team, joined the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2019-20 season as an assistant strength and conditioning coach.
Antetokounmpo, who spent two seasons on UD’s basketball team (played in 2017-18), was signed off of waivers by the Lakers before the 2019-20 season. Antetokounmpo becomes the first out of his two brothers, Giannis (Milwaukee Bucks) and Alex (New York Knicks) to win an NBA championship.