LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Los Angeles Lakers are the 2020 NBA Champions, persevering through the NBA bubble while beating the Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, and Miami Heat. The title is the first since Kobe Bryant led LA to the 2010 NBA Championship. Lakers legend and 5-time NBA Champion Michael Cooper believes this is the first of many titles to come for the storied franchise.
The Lakers earned championship number 17 during the 2020 season, but have a foundation in place to to contend for more championships so long as they stay healthy.
Michael Cooper recently joined ClutchPoints’ Battle for LA Podcast with Tomer Azarly to talk about the Lakers championship run and give his hot take on how many titles they can win, among other topics.
“If they go on and win this, I think they definitely have to be recognized as going down in the Lakers’ lore of great teammates that has one championship,” Cooper told ClutchPoints before Game 6 of the NBA Finals. “I do believe this and I’m gonna make a bold prediction — when the Lakers win a championship now, they’ll win three in a row. I see that they’ll gonna have some replacement, see people coming in, there’s gonna be player and personnel moves.”
The last NBA three-peat came when the Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal-led Lakers won three straight from 2000-2002, defeating the Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, and New Jersey Nets in the NBA Finals. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have a lot of work to do if they want to repeat.
The 2020-21 season is expected to have far more competition than the previous season. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and the Golden State Warriors, equipped with the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA Draft, will be back. Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and the Brooklyn Nets are expected to be contenders next season. The Milwaukee Bucks and LA Clippers, the two other title favorites from this past season are expected to make at least a few changes this offseason before making another rejuvenated title run.
Despite all that, the Lakers are still entering the 2020-21 season as the odds-on NBA Championship favorites, according to many sports-books. LeBron James has shown no signs of slowing down, averaging a near-triple-double at 29.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 8.5 assists per game on 59.1 percent shooting in his 10th NBA Finals.
“I think three-peat, I really do believe it,” Cooper added. “I don’t really see anybody that’s gonna give them problems, and I think what has happened in the NBA in the last year or two is when Houston started this with the small ball thing, I think the Lakers have killed that off with [Anthony Davis], Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee and LeBron. They’re too big for these teams now.
“Look at what the Lakers did to the Denver Nuggets and you gotta credit that team with what they’ve done from as far as coming back vs. Utah, 3-1 beating the Clippers, 3-1 and then holding that hole against the Lakers. What wore them down was the Lakers height and I think that’s what’s gonna happen. When teams win championships, everybody’s gonna look at the top and say, ‘what we do we have to do to beat them?'”
Winning one title is hard enough, especially considering the circumstances of this past season. Repeating is even harder. After their championship celebration, LeBron James already told Anthony Davis that, ‘they’ve got more work to do.’
Next season will surely be a joy to watch, considering the parity in the league as well as the possibility that fans are allowed to return to NBA arenas.
You can listen to the full podcast with Michael Cooper on:
Apple: Battle for LA Podcast
Spotify: Battle for LA Podcast