The 2019-20 NBA season will go down as one of the most unprecedented in the league’s history, and the bubble where the season came to a conclusion will almost certainly never be replicated again. That certainly doesn’t negate the value of the Lakers’ championship, but the global pandemic created a unique set of circumstances that led to some unique consequences. With each passing day, the championship parade the Lakers never received seems increasingly less likely.
Dwight Howard has been the most public in his campaign for a title parade, even citing that as a reason for his return to Los Angeles. But new teammate Rajon Rondo was the latest to join in Howard’s pursuit for a celebration while speaking about the mentality behind his return to the Lakers during his introductory press conference on Tuesday.
“Just a positive mindset, a forward mindset,” Rondo said. “Understanding that we didn’t get our parade, but coming off of a year being a champion, I want to do it again. I want, obviously, a parade here in L.A. and this is a special team that can possibly make that happen.”
The logistics of holding a parade would be complicated. With every contributor to that title scattered around the league either coaching or playing for other teams, getting it to work with everyone’s schedules and get the NBA to sign off on it wouldn’t be easy. It would also be a strange, especially if the Lakers weren’t coming off another title.
But as improbable as the alternative is, it might be more likely that the Lakers win another title and celebrate both championships with a parade then. For Rondo, playing with a team that has legitimate title chances was an added factor in him joining the Lakers, even if there was no other team he considered.
“I think I’m one of the most competitive guys in the league and I love to win,” Rondo said. “And being put in a situation now where we have the opportunity to win a championship, and there’s only a handful of teams that can say that at the beginning of training camp, and we’re one of them this year, and I look forward to, again, proving people wrong and understanding that age doesn’t make a difference, and that a lot of guys on the team have a lot left in the tank, and going against all odds and getting it done.”
The Lakers’ push for another parade should serve as a motivating factor this season, though as Rondo notes, being a title contender itself is motivation enough. Win or lose this season, though, hopefully, the 2019-20 Lakers will one day get the championship celebration they deserve.