Well, they did it. The Los Angeles Lakers are back in the NBA Finals 10 years later and after enduring some very, very tough times over the past decade.
The Lakers went through hell lately. Kobe Bryant's contract prevented him from signing stars, then Kobe got hurt, and then their young guns didn't live up to the expectations during their rebuilding - and poorly coached - years.
Now, however, Kyle Kuzma, the lone survivor from the rebuilding process, has played a significant role in their road back to the Finals, so him being one of the few players that went through thick and thin with the team, felt particularly excited to clinch that Finals berth:
“It’s an incredible feeling. It’s a feeling that you can’t take for granted because you never know when you’re going to get back to this. Especially for me, I’m just embracing it all. Me and Alex (Caruso) we’ve been here through the dark days of Lakers Nation: losing seasons and rebuilds. To be here now in the Finals, it’s a testament to a lot of hard work from obviously us as players, and the front office for making the right decisions. I’m just super happy to be here," Kuzma told SB Nation.
To be fair, it's not like Kuzma has been around for the past decade and endured the Ryan Kelly, Robert Sacre, Jordan Hill era in Los Angeles. He's entering his third year in the league and the Lakers were quite decent last year until LeBron James got hurt in the second half of the season.
Then again, those true, diehard Lakers fans must be pretty excited and proud of this team. We're talking about a historically great franchise that struggled to live up to that standard for a decade. Now, they're back on the place they should have never left.