Los Angeles Lakers: No Three-Peat

Enjoy the celebration, Ron, you'll be home next June.

That's right, Laker Nation, your team will not win next year's NBA Finals.

"That's what they said last year," you'll say.

"Yeah, and the year before that, too," your friend will proclaim.

"And we could've won against Boston the year before that," another fan will say with absolute conviction.

True, the Lakers are the two-time defending NBA champions. It's also true that they could have won against the Boston Celtics in the 2008 NBA Finals, Pau Gasol's first season with the club. Had they pulled out the home victory in Game Four, they could have sent the series back to Boston with a 3-2 lead. They didn't, of course, but the rest is history.

With this past season's Finals concluded, the loss to the Celtics has been avenged. Kobe and company even got their revenge against the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals after being eliminated in the first round for two straight years.

The Lakers enjoyed a renaissance in the Playoffs after finishing the regular season's last two months barely above .500 with a 12-10 record. In April, L.A.'s 3-4 record, didn't look good compared to Orlando's seven wins with one loss.

Even in the first round the Lakers seemed to struggle against the Oklahoma City Thunder. That series proved to be the turning point for the Lakers. Prior to Game Five, media outlets showed video of Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant discussing the tied series. Something had changed in the two stars of the franchise. Something was very different.

That, folks, was when the champion came out. Despite dropping five more games in the post-season, the Lakers gutted it out. They persevered. They conquered.

Fans all over the country rejoiced at the site.

Oh, and fans all over the country also felt absolutely disgusted. You know the ones, the Kobe-haters. The fans who call the team "Fakers" a...

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