Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers had one person on their mind after a dominant Game 6 win over the Miami Heat to claim the NBA title on Sunday night.
The win, of course, was for Kobe Bryant.
Davis and the Lakers honored Bryant — who, along with his daughter Gianna and seven others, was killed in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles in January — after their 106-93 win over the Heat to finish off the NBA Finals.
“Ever since the tragedy, all we wanted to do is do it for him, and we didn’t let him down,” Davis said on the court. “It would have been great to do it last game in his jerseys, 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. I know he’s looking down on us proud of us. I know Vanessa [Bryant is] proud of us, the organization’s proud of us. It means a lot to us.”
The Lakers have honored Bryant and Gigi since their death with special patches on their jerseys. They even introduced special “Black Mamba” jerseys, which earned them a near-perfect 4-1 record in the playoffs this year in Florida. The only loss came in Game 5 of the Finals with the Heat.
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Davis finished the night on Sunday with 19 points and 15 rebounds in the blowout win. He averaged 25 points and 10.7 rebounds throughout the series.
And after one of the strangest, longest seasons in NBA history, it’s only fitting that Davis and the Lakers capped off their tributes to Bryant with a trophy.
“He was a big brother to all of us, and we did this for him,” Davis said.
Vanessa Bryant posts Kobe tribute
Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, added a touching photo to her Instagram story on Sunday night, too.
Vanessa put up a photo of Bryant and Pelinka on the court at the Staples Center.
“Congratulations Uncle P! Congratulations Lakers,” she wrote. “Kobe was right, RP! ‘Stay the course — blockout the noise.’
“Wish Kobe and Gigi were here to see this.”
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