(via Fadeaway World

It hasn’t been an easy season for the L.A. Lakers. Between the COVID-19 pandemic, the restart in Orlando, social justice protests, and steep competition in the Western Conference, challenges have lurked around every corner for the Purple and Gold.

But in the end, they came out as NBA Champions for the 17th time in franchise history.

As the man who made it all possible, LeBron James couldn’t help but bring up Kobe Bryant after the game, whose death helped bring the team even closer in a time of tragedy.

Anthony Davis also shared some words on Bryant.

All season long, the team has been finding ways to honor Kobe’s legacy — wearing new jerseys, adding his numbers on the court, keeping his way-of-life as a motto for the team. Obviously, winning this title for Lakers Nation (the first since the Kobe era) is the best way they could’ve honored him.

For LeBron James, he has already shared his regret about not meeting with Bryant when he became a Laker back in 2018. Since even before Bryant’s death, the pressure was all on Bron to lead the team to a Championship. Now that he’s gone, that pressure for James is higher than it has ever been.

There’s even more in this for The King, though. This title helps solidify LeBron’s claim to the GOAT status, something he has been gunning for since his rookie season. As he holds up his fourth Championship, the latest one coming with the NBA’s most notorious franchise, it’s hard to deny he is one of the best players this world has ever seen.

And for a guy who started as a nobody in Akron, Ohio, he’s certainly come a long way.