Seven months after winning the franchise's 17th title, the Los Angeles Lakers will finally unveil their 2020 NBA championship banner, the team announced.
Prior to Thursday's rematch against their 2020 Finals opponent, the Miami Heat, Lakers CEO and president Jeanie Buss revealed the team's plans to display the banner at long last on May 12 when L.A. plays its final home game of the regular season against the Houston Rockets.
The Lakers beat the Heat in Game 6 to take back the title on Oct. 11 in the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida.
"There was a couple reasons why we waited," Buss told Spectrum SportsNet, the team's regional TV partner, on Thursday. "First of all, on opening night, we didn't have any fans. So now that we've finally gotten the nod that we're allowed to have some fans, we decided that the last regular-season game would be good because we'll have as many fans as we can get and hopefully we'll have a completely healthy team by then and with LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the court.
"And it's a good sendoff as we prepare to go into the playoffs."
Including Thursday, James has missed L.A.'s past 10 games with a high ankle sprain, while Davis has been out 24 games with a calf strain and tendinosis in his right leg.
James posted a photo of him and his fellow co-captain to his Instagram page on Thursday, hinting at their imminent return.
The Lakers will welcome back fans for the first time on April 15 against the Boston Celtics. The exact capacity that L.A. County and the state of California will allow the Lakers to host has not been announced yet, however.
"Our aim is to bring in as many fans as possible, but safely as possible," Buss said.
The Lakers opened the regular season in December with a black cloak covering the 2019-20 championship banner with the message, "Stay tuned, Lakers family," printed in gold block letters on it.