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Lakers Defeat Miami Heat To Win NBA Championship


The NBA has a new champion.


MIKE BREEN: And that's it. It's over. This historic 2020 NBA championship belongs to the Los Angeles Lakers.

KING: LeBron James led the Lakers to their 17th title, their first in 10 years, and the first, of course, since Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash earlier this year. They beat the Miami Heat in six games. And remember, it did not seem like it would even get this far. The NBA stopped play back in early March when a player for the Utah Jazz got coronavirus. Back then, playing the season seemed like a fantasy. So League Commissioner Adam Silver decided to bring the season to Disney World.

ADAM SILVER: And so what we've come up with now is playing at a single site at Disney World of Sports Complex.


The league started up again in a bubble. All players, coaches and staff had to quarantine before entering. Everyone got tested regularly. Stuck inside the bubble, the isolation started getting to players, even LeBron.


LEBRON JAMES: I've had numerous nights and days of me thinking about leaving the bubble. I think everyone has. It probably crossed my mind once a day.

MARTIN: But the bubble did work. Here's league commissioner Adam Silver again right before the finals.

SILVER: We have had zero cases among players, among team staff working on campus. This program is working.

KING: Which got us to the playoffs. The Lakers were heavily favored over the Miami Heat. But the Heat's star player, Jimmy Butler, did not make it easy.


BREEN: Butler drives, falling away. Got it again. Jimmy Butler puts the Heat back up by one. James drives, goes inside, layup - missed it. Got the rebound. The following banks it home. James and Butler throwing haymakers at each other.

KING: The Heat suffered some injuries. And that helped bring the Lakers to the championship.


JAMES: We just want our respect. Our organization want their respect. The Laker Nation want their respect. And I want my damn respect, too.


KING: I think you got it, LeBron. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.