Leaving a Lakers Legacy: The Sequel

Once upon a time, the Lakers were on the verge of winning the NBA Championship. They had just won Game 4 of the Finals and took a 3–1 lead going into Game 5. They were facing a team from Florida and were looking to finish the series in Orlando. They were the heavy favorites going into the postseason and made it to the Finals by beating the Houston Rockets in the 2nd round and then the Denver Nuggets in the Conference Finals.

The Lakers were led by a veteran superstar who had already won 3 championships but also had two painful Finals exits since his last victory. He was under constant scrutiny for his style of play and public persona. He had won plenty of individual accolades and established himself as the best player of a decade but was trying to cement himself in the G.O.A.T. discussion by winning more championships for the “Purple and Gold” in the twilight years of his career.

The Lakers also featured a versatile big man who had been in the league for 6 years before being traded, a player who was entering his prime but had not yet won a championship. The big man had the size to play center but preferred the power forward position.

It was 2009, the superstar was Kobe Bryant, and the big man was Pau Gasol.

Fast forward to 2020, and the Lakers are on the verge of winning the NBA Championship. They had just won Game 4 of the Finals and took a 3–1 lead going into Game 5. They are facing a team from Florida and are looking to finish the series in Orlando. They were the heavy favorites going into the postseason and made it to the Finals by beating the Houston Rockets in the 2nd round and then the Denver Nuggets in the Conference Finals.

The Lakers are led by a veteran superstar who had already won 3 championships but also had two painful Finals exits since his last victory. He is under constant scrutiny for his style of play and public persona. He has won plenty of individual accolades and established himself as the best player of a decade but is trying to cement himself in the G.O.A.T. discussion by winning more championships for the “Purple and Gold” in the twilight years of his career.

The Lakers also feature a versatile big man who had been in the league for 6 years before being traded, a player who is entering his prime but has not yet won a championship. The big man has the size to play center but prefers the power forward position.

It is 2020, the superstar is LeBron James, and the big man is Anthony Davis.