IT HAS been the theme of the recently concluded NBA Finals. The Los Angeles Lakers, led by Lebron James and Anthony Davis, bested Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat in Game 6, 106-93 en route to the franchise's 17th title.
The protagonists of this NBA Finals needed some form of validation for their work and to gain the respect they deserve. Not only from the Lakers but from the Heat as well.
No one was betting on either team to be in the NBA Finals at the start of the season. Most basketball pundits were looking at the Bucks and Clippers as the potential matchup. With the emerging star, Giannis, and Kawhi and PG's superstar pairing, it was so easy to write off other possible match-ups. Incidentally, both teams never made it past the second round of the playoffs. Bucks would fall to the Heat and the Clippers to the Nuggets.
Winning their respective conferences validates the Heat and Lakers as contenders in the next couple of years.
Jimmy Butler's playoff performance is unforgettable. But before leading the Heat to the NBA Finals, Most portrayed him negatively as a teammate and a player. His focus and desire to bring his team to what they have achieved this season are validation that he is not the player they have painted him to be. His finals performance is the evidence of his passion.
Lebron James and his masterful finals performance have already secured his spot as one of the greatest to have played the game. But there are still those who cannot appreciate his contributions. This fourth title and fourth finals MVP is already a validation of his legend.
Anthony Davis, criticized for forcing his way out of New Orleans to join the Lakers, is now an NBA champion. He needed to play with an organization that can showcase his talent and what he can do in the NBA Finals' big stage. This win already validates his elite status in the league.
The Lakers have been out of the postseason for a decade. Their last title win was in 2010 led by the late Laker legend, Kobe Bryant. After that season, it has all been downhill for the purple and gold. The 17th title gives the franchise the validation as one of the storied franchises in NBA history even after nine long, frustrating seasons. Sadly, the Black Mamba is no longer with us to witness it.