As the last embers flickered out on the Miami Heat’s hopes of forcing a Game 7, the Los Angeles Lakers’ dreams of winning the NBA Championship became reality as Game 6 came to a close.

Though it was a hard fought battle by both teams, the Los Angeles Lakers came out victorious, winning their 17th NBA title. Stellar performances led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis fueled each of the teams wins with defining plays that attracted the attention of fans all over the world. 

Role players such as Rajon Rondo and Dwight Howard also assisted in providing the team extra help towards their road to a championship victory. As I watched each game, I was intrigued by how alive each one felt, despite the pandemic that we are still in the midst of. Ironically, it seemed as if the players took each game with more of a purpose and kept the audience biting its teeth during several moments of each game. 

Before the series began, I was under the impression that the Los Angeles Lakers would eliminate the Miami Heat in four games. Obviously, I was quite wrong in my assumption. The Miami Heat gave an outstanding performance, winning two games out of the six that they played, and players like Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro poured in big numbers on the stats sheet when their chances of being eliminated were on the line. 

This championship felt different than previous ones. Of course, it was enjoyable observing the Lakers relishing in their victory, but the presence of the late Kobe Bryant seemed to fill the NBA bubble as they took the stage in their championship win. Throughout the entire playoff season, the Lakers were conscious of making the Bryant family proud in every aspect of the game. I enjoyed how they presented each game with a “Mamba Mentality,” allowing the spirit of Bryant to fuel their motivation in bringing home another title to the city of Los Angeles. Personally, I also believe the passing of Bryant motivated the Miami Heat as well. 

When one of the NBA’s most cherished players passes away, every player of every team mourns their loss in some manner, and therefore I think this encouraged their franchise to compete at a higher level and never surrender to defeat which would’ve made Bryant very proud. The trials and tribulations that both teams experienced throughout each game embodied their consistent urge to fight for a championship and their understanding that the odds are not in any of their favor. 

Although it felt more fitting for the Lakers to win the championship, Miami Heat gave it their all and also took into consideration how much the victory meant to the Lakers and the Bryant family. During the trophy presentation, LeBron gave a meaningful testimony about their triumphant playoff season, as he mentioned “We just want our respect”. 

With the Los Angeles Lakers winning their 17th NBA title, I think their respect should be rightfully given and I’m sure Bryant would be very proud of the success that the entire organization has achieved. 

Isaiah Underwood is a senior studying creative writing at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Isaiah? Email him iu137516@ohio.edu.