The Los Angeles Lakers capped off the most hectic season in NBA history with a championship, knocking off the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the 2020 Finals to add a 17th Larry O’Brien trophy to the franchise’s trophy case. The victory comes, of course, months after the passing of Laker legend Kobe Bryant, who passed away alongside his daughter, Gianna, and others in a helicopter crash earlier this year.
The team has made it clear ever since that tragic day that this season would be played out in memory of Kobe, Gianna, and everyone else who died. They managed to honor their memory in the best way possible by getting a ring, and after the game, one of the Lakers’ stars spoke about Bryant.
Anthony Davis, who grew up idolizing Bryant, spoke about how the team’s goal was to make sure he would be proud of what they accomplished. In his eyes, the team took pride in how they did not let Bryant down.
“He was a big brother to all of us. We did this for him.”
— NBA TV (@NBATV) October 12, 2020
“Ever since the tragedy, all we wanted to do is do it for him, and we didn’t let him down,” Davis said. “It would have been great to do it last game, in his jersey, but it made us come down even more aggressive, even more powerful, on both ends of the floor, to make sure we close it down tonight. And I know he’s looking down on us, proud of us. I know Vanessa’s proud of us, the organization’s proud of us. It means a lot to us.”
After taking a moment to compose himself while his teammates celebrated, Davis wrapped things up succinctly by mentioning how Bryant was viewed in the Laker locker room, both as a person and as an inspiration for what they accomplished.
“He was a big brother to all of us, and we did this for him,” Davis said.