Unique, as always: the Lakers win the first NBA Cup
The Lakers were proclaimed winners of the inaugural NBA Cup (In-Season Tournament), after beating the Indiana Pacers 109-123 in Las Vegas. Another title for LeBron and Davis.
The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas - an incomparable setting for the inaugural NBA In-Season tournament - a brand new event designed to bring greater prominence to the first part of the regular season. Such a momentous occasion called for an incomparable champion. In the titles roll call of honor, there are two franchises tied at the top - one of them became the first to lift the trophy for the first time this weekend.
The Lakers are the inaugural champions of this new competition, launched in 2023, which features a KO format, after a conference group stage. In Saturday’s final they beat the Pacers, the most pleasant surprise of the tournament in substance and form, with a score of 123-109.
With the pace set by Anthony Davis, the author of a mammoth game (41 points, 20 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 blocks; never seen before, like the game itself), the Angelenos are the first name to be etched on this new trophy.
This appetizer gave us, in the middle of autumn, a taste of what we might be seeing when spring arrives - the players treated it as if it was a playoff game, the current runners-up of the Western Conference triumphed. Darvin Ham and his Lakers closed the game with authority and obtained their first great achievement under his tenure - the post-Frank Vogel era in which the last Ring was won: during the unexpected pandemic bubble of 2020.
The venue chosen for this event was the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the sinful city in the state of Nevada, a neutral ground where Lakers fans from all over the world flocked to for this inaugural edition, making it feel a little less neutral. Hustle and bustle and public interest - both in this last phase and in the previous games that were played in franchise pavilions. That is why, after the late David Stern paved the way, today, one more pin has just been placed on the map of the NBA’s international successes.