For the first time since 2010, the Los Angeles Lakers are the kings of the NBA.
LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers dismantled the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Sunday in Orlando, Fla. to win the franchise's 17th title.
LeBron recorded his 28th career playoff triple-double and Davis posted a double-double in the Lakers' blowout 106-93 win to secure the championship.
The Warriors, who were the hunted for the last five NBA seasons, now know who they must hunt down during the 2020-21 season.
With the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets in flux due to coaching changes, the Lakers officially are the Warriors' biggest threat in the Western Conference, and possibly the entire NBA.
A rivalry with LeBron is nothing new for the Warriors, as they battled him in four straight NBA Finals. But last season, when the Warriors were still at the top of the NBA, the Lakers were rebuilding. Not even LeBron could guide that team to the playoffs.
During the offseason, the Lakers traded
half their roster a large package to the New Orleans Pelicans for former No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Davis, surrounding the two superstars with experienced complementary pieces. That was enough to get the Lakers back into NBA title contention, and they achieved their goal of winning a championship Sunday.
The Warriors are coming off an NBA-worst 15-50 season, but there's reason to believe they will return to title contention next season.
Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are expected to be healthy whenever the 2020-21 season opens, Draymond Green looks like he's in the best shape of his life and Andrew Wiggins has been putting in the work this offseason.
Of course, the Warriors also own the No. 2 pick in the upcoming 2020 NBA Draft, so they could either add a top talent to the roster or trade the pick to add an established NBA player.
Yes, the Warriors have work to do before they can compete for another NBA title. But with a healthy core and a revamped roster, it's easy to see them returning to the upper tier of the NBA.
And if the Warriors are able to make that climb back up to the top of the mountain, the Lakers will be there waiting for the challenge.