Championship No. 17 will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Los Angeles Lakers fans. It tied the team with the Boston Celtics for the most in NBA history. It was the first won by LeBron James and Anthony Davis in purple and gold. It offered the redemption of Dwight Howard and made Rajon Rondo the first player ever to win a championship in both Los Angeles and Boston. But perhaps most importantly, it came during the season in which team legend Kobe Bryant died in a January helicopter accident. 

The Lakers played for Bryant after his death. James spoke at the tribute service the Lakers held for him before their first game following the accident. Davis spoke after winning the title about the impact he had on the team. But Lakers fans wanted their moment to share their appreciation for Bryant, and it came after the championship. "Kobe Bryant" chants broke out in downtown Los Angeles as fans celebrated the title. 

Despite a plea from Lakers owners Jeanie Buss to wait until it is safe to celebrate, fans couldn't help themselves. They flocked to Staples Center in droves to commemorate the moment despite the danger the COVID-19 pandemic still poses. 

Hopefully, the fans in Los Angeles take the necessary safety precautions and wear masks as they celebrate the championship, but in light of everything that has happened to the team and the country this season, the instinct to share this moment with others was somewhat inevitable. 

Bryant may no longer be with us, but Lakers fans will never forget his contributions to the team. This championship will forever be associated with his memory.