On Sunday, the Los Angeles Lakers finished off a special campaign, securing the Larry O’Brien trophy and the right to be called NBA champions. It was a cathartic moment for everyone on the roster but especially for the organization’s two superstars.
LeBron James won his fourth championship, inching him further forward in the GOAT conversation if there is a conversation to be had. It also proved that his leaguewide dominance was not a result of playing in the Eastern Conference his whole career, that he could move to the West and in two years win yet another title.
Meanwhile, Anthony Davis received vindication for forcing his way out of New Orleans to join the Lakers, immediately winning a championship and dominating in the paint on both sides of the floor throughout their 16-5 playoff run.
But while Sunday’s win and celebration must have been a calming moment for the two leaders in the Lakers’ locker room, they surely were not resting on their laurels, either. In fact, according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, James had a crucial message to his fellow star after the game:
“We’ve got more work to do,” sources said James told Davis during their celebration in the locker room.
Davis, of course, can and likely will choose to opt out of the final year of his career once free agency begins but the big man is expected to sign a new long-term deal to keep him in Los Angeles. He played coy when asked about post-game saying he doesn’t know but also made it clear in social media posts that he wants to “run it back.” Meanwhile, James is nearing the end of his career – though you wouldn’t know it with his steady performances in the playoffs – but the ghost of chasing Michael Jordan and fully cementing himself as the greatest of all time seems to be in his mind more than ever. And as he said on Sunday, he still wants his damn respect.
So Lakers fans can celebrate this title and the players, coaches, and other personnel that made it happen. But they can also celebrate that they have two superstars who are as motivated as ever to keep the Lakers at the top of the mountain, where they belong.