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Lakers Celebrate NBA’s First In-Season Title with Modest Banner Hang-Up

LOS ANGELES— The Los Angeles Lakers celebrated their unbeaten run to the championship of the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament by hanging a modest black banner at their downtown arena. The new vertical In-Season Tournament banner hangs near the five horizontal banners representing the Minneapolis Lakers’ titles before the team moved to the West Coast. The Lakers eventually decided the tournament victory deserves its own recognition — beyond the $500,000 awarded to each player. Los Angeles went 7-0 in tournament play, with star player LeBron James posting his 109th career triple-double in the loss to the New York Knicks.

The Lakers paused their pregame warmups for a brief tribute video and a celebration with the NBA Cup as their fans clapped politely. Nobody addressed the crowd before the banner was uncovered to more cheers.

“I think it was awesome,” said LeBron James.“To acknowledge wins throughout the course of a marathon, I think it’s pretty cool. That’s the first. That’s the inauguration of it, so for our fans that didn’t get an opportunity to be in Vegas, they got an opportunity to kind of share that celebration with us tonight, share that moment. Something that will live on forever, for sure, here.”

“I think it’s a cool thing,” Anthony Davis said of the new banner. “(The tournament) has to be a continuous thing now. It can’t be three or four years and then it’s over, because now it (would be) like, ‘All right, you’ve got a banner for what?’ If it’s something that’s going to continue to stick around for years to come, then I think it’s cool, and I think other teams would do it if they win as well.”