A video taken by sports reporter Shams Charania shows James on the floor holding a cigar as he chats with his mother, Gloria Marie James. While some of the call is unintelligible, one sweet line can be heard.
"Everything that you have been through, everything that I've seen, it's nothing that can stop me," James said. "Cause this s--- right here, this is nothing compared to the s--- you had to go through. God is good, God is great. I hope I continue to make you proud, Mom."
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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, attendance at NBA games was strictly limited. The league used a "bubble" method, where only players and essential staff were in the arena, after resuming their season in July. Only a few family members were allowed to be at the NBA Finals, with most watching at home virtually.
There were plenty of other celebrations going on among the team members. Videos show players cheering in the arena, and the excitement was so intense that one player was accidentally left behind as the team departed the arena. Some Lakers teammates joked during an Instagram Live about leaving Quinn Cook behind, and Cook commented on the video that the team bus needed to come back to the arena to pick him up.
The team also honored Kobe Bryant, who spent his entire NBA career playing for the Lakers and died in a helicopter crash alongside his daughter Gianna and seven others in January. After the game, Anthony Davis dedicated the win to Bryant and said the team won the championship "for him."
This is the Lakers' 17th title in franchise history but their first NBA championship in a decade. For James, 35, it's his fourth NBA title; the record-breaking star also earned the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award for the fourth time. James is the first player to be named the Finals MVP with three different teams — in 2012 and 2013 he won it while playing for the Miami Heat, and in 2016, he won it while playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers.