Lakers, Nets Among NBA Earned Jerseys Released to Honor 2020 Playoff Teams

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 10, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) looks on in the second half during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

The NBA released the designs for the 16 "earned jerseys" honoring the teams that qualified for the 2020 playoffs, including a special edition for the champion Los Angeles Lakers.

ESPN's Nick DePaula provided a look at all of the uniforms:

Nick DePaula @NickDePaula

All 16 NBA Earned Jerseys for this season revealed. Celebrating the 16 teams that made the 2020 Playoffs. Each jersey features Silver accents — the Lakers’ incorporates Trophy gold. 🏆 https://t.co/6MnUQmNDi7

The NBA debuted the first earned jerseys in 2018 with teams wearing them for select games throughout the season.

LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers rolled through the playoffs, which didn't conclude until mid-October because the 2019-20 season was delayed amid the coronavirus pandemic, dropping just five playoff games en route to the title.

They faced off with the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, who made a surprising run through the Eastern Conference as the No. 5 seed. They knocked off the Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics before falling to L.A. in six games.

The Lakers are a top contender to defend their championship, but they figure to face more competition in the 2021 postseason, led by the Brooklyn Nets.

Brooklyn was swept in the opening round of the 2020 playoffs by the Toronto Raptors while playing without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.

Irving and Durant have since returned from injuries, and the Nets acquired James Harden from the Houston Rockets as part of a blockbuster four-team trade in January to give them unmatched offensive firepower when at full strength.

Meanwhile, the battle to secure a playoff berth, and an earned jersey next season, will be hotly contested during the second half of the regular season, which tips off Wednesday night.