What’s Your Favorite Championship Team?

Darius Soriano —  September 15, 2010

June 17, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02208456 Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant (C) and Lakers' Derek Fisher (R) celebrate after defeating the Boston Celtics as Celtics' Paul Pierce (L) walks away during game seven of the NBA Finals at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 17 June 2010. The Lakers defeated the Celtics 83-79 to win their 16th championships.

The Lakers have been a blessed franchise.  From Minneapolis to Los Angeles the Lakers organization has fielded championship teams 16 times over and delivered fantastic memories for fans spanning several generations.  Being able to root for the teams led by the likes Mikan to West to Magic to Shaq to Kobe I think we can all agree that Lakers’ fans have been some of the luckiest in all of sports.

I bring all this up because an interesting question was raised in the comments yesterday that really got me thinking.  I’ll let commenter lil’ pau take it from here:

Artest’s acquisition, then so many injuries during the regular season including a Bynum heartbreak, then 2 out of 3 playoff series that I would call breathtaking (and the only bad one containing one of the all time best games in history), then coming back from 2-3 against the hated ones to win 2 straight at Staples, including trailing by 13 in the 3rd in game 7, to win for the first time on the home floor since 2000… and with Artest making a critical unlikely three…?!?! There’s a reason that last year turned out to be my favorite season as a fan, even including Showtime.  I wonder how others here think last season compared to other championship runs (2000 was also great, especially that incredible comeback against Portland, and also the year of the Magic baby-hook in the Garden…)

The question of someones favorite championship is a great one because I think everyone has that title run that most sticks out in their mind.  For example Chris J chimed in with his:

All told, I’d have to rank my favorite wins as 1985 — finally beating Boston, in Boston — and 1988, when the team went Back-to-Back after an all-out grind against Utah, Dallas and then Detroit.

Last season’s win will likely rank up with ‘85 and ‘88 over time. Beating Boston is always great, and there were so many memorable plays — Pau’s put-back vs. OKC; Kobe’s Gentry shot; Ron’s buzzer beater vs. the Suns; Fish’s three to tie Game 7 vs. Boston; and Artest’s three to ice the title, just to name a few.

Still, those just haven’t had time to fully sink in yet. Ask again in a few years and I bet people’s rankings are different.

Honestly, I struggle with this question as every championship celebrated has been a wonderful moment that is special in its own way.  I’ll always love 1987 because it was the rubber match between Magic and Bird where the winner would likely be seen as the better player.  2000 also meant a lot to me because of all the struggles that team went through in prior seasons before breaking through for the ring.  And 2010 will always be special because the Lakers not only beat the Celtics, but they exacted some revenge from 2008 and did it in a dramatic game 7 victory that while not pretty, showed a level of grit and toughness many thought the Lakers still lacked.  So, it’s tough for me choose one that stands above the rest.

But that’s exactly what I’m asking you to do.  What title has been your favorite?  Maybe it was 1972 when Mr. Clutch finally got his ring.  Or maybe it was 1980 when Magic put on a performance for the ages as a rookie.  Maybe it was the 2001 run where the Lakers were the playoff juggernaut that only lost one game on their way to the championship.  Let me know in the comments, but understand the entire time that as a Lakers fan you’ve been pretty lucky to witness what you have.

Darius Soriano

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