The series was the third straight championship that the Lakers clinched on the road (after 2001 and 2002); the last time the Lakers clinched the championship at home was in 2000. With their team's win, Pau Gasol became the first Spaniard, and D. J. Mbenga the first Belgian Congolese player, to win an NBA championship. Bill and Luke Walton became the third father and son pair to each win a championship as a player; the other father–son combinations are Matt Guokas, Sr. (1947) with Matt Jr. (1967) and Rick Barry (1975) with son Brent (2005 and 2007). Kobe Bryant averaged 32.4 points and 7.4 assists in this series, which was the best combination of those categories since Jerry West averaged 37.9 points and 7.4 assists (1969).
For the Magic, Game 3 marked their first Finals game victory; the franchise lost their first six Finals games after being swept in their first Finals appearance in 1995. In Game 3, the Magic also set the Finals record for the best field goal percentage with 63 percent, and the Finals record for the best field goal percentage in the first half with 75 percent.
This was the first NBA Finals series since 1984 to have two games go into overtime (Games 2 and 4); both were won by the Lakers. Dwight Howard set an NBA Finals single-game record with 9 blocked shots in Game 4. The previous record holders, all of whom had blocked eight shots in a Finals game, were: Bill Walton of the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 6 of the 1977 NBA Finals; Hakeem Olajuwon of the Houston Rockets in Game 5 of the 1986 NBA Finals; Howard's assistant coach Patrick Ewing of the New York Knicks in Game 5 of the 1994 NBA Finals; Shaquille O'Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of the 2001 NBA Finals; and Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs in Game 6 of the 2003 NBA Finals.
This is the seventh time in NBA Finals history that a team that lost the championship the previous season has won the Finals the very next year. It is the second time in Lakers history, after the 1984 and 1985 teams.
This is also the first odd season since 2001 that the San Antonio Spurs did not win the NBA Finals; they won in 2003, 2005 and 2007.
This was the last Finals in which a trophy silhouette was painted in mid-court. The tradition began in 2005 and ended for the 2010 series. This was also the last NBA Finals to be played at Amway Arena; the Magic moved to the Amway Center for the 2010–11 season.
RosterLast transaction: 2009-02-18
RosterLast transaction: 2009-03-23
Aside from ABC (U.S.) and TSN (Canada), other broadcasters across the world covered the Finals:
The series win brought the Lakers' franchise championship total to 15, trailing only to the Boston Celtics. The championship was the fourth of the 2000s decade for the Lakers, most among all teams in the four major professional sports leagues in North America.
By virtue of their win this year and loss in the previous year, this marked tenth occurrence that the winners of the NBA Finals were losers in the preceding year's Finals, previously the Detroit Pistons had lost and won the Finals in 1988 and 1989 respectively. The victory was noted by many as a personal success for Finals MVP Kobe Bryant, winning his first championship and succeeding in the playoffs without the presence of former Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal where some people had previously speculated that Bryant could not "win one without Shaq". Head coach Phil Jackson captured his 10th NBA championship as a coach, surpassing Red Auerbach for most championships all-time by an NBA coach. Jackson also passed Auerbach and NHL coach Scotty Bowman for most championships all-time by a head coach in a major American sports league. Having achieved three Game 1 victories throughout the postseason (first round vs. Utah, conference finals vs. Denver, and NBA Finals vs. Orlando), Phil Jackson-coached teams were now 44–0 in series where they win the first game, later improved to 48–0 by the time Jackson retired after the 2011 NBA Playoffs.
The Lakers' only offseason change was the acquisition of Ron Artest from the Houston Rockets, in an essential trade where they let Trevor Ariza sign with the Rockets. Again the Lakers won the top seed in the West, though winning just eight games less than the year before. They eliminated the Oklahoma City Thunder in six, the Utah Jazz in four, and the Phoenix Suns in six to return to the NBA Finals and renew their heated rivalry with the Celtics. In the Finals the Lakers won a hard-fought seven game series against the Celtics to retain the NBA title, becoming the first team to repeat as champions since the 2002 Lakers.
The Magic again won 59 games and the division title in the 2009–10 season, in which they let go of Hedo Türkoğlu to the Toronto Raptors and acquired Vince Carter from the New Jersey Nets. Dwight Howard won Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight year. In the playoffs the Magic swept the Charlotte Bobcats and the Atlanta Hawks, becoming the first team in NBA history to win their first eight playoff games by 20 or more points. However, the Magic would lose to the Boston Celtics in six games of the Eastern Conference Finals, marking the final games held at Amway Arena. The Magic moved to the Amway Center the next season, then proceeded to lose in the first round for two straight years to the Hawks and the Indiana Pacers, respectively. After the 2011–12 season Stan Van Gundy was fired, and in a blockbuster offseason trade, Howard was traded to the Lakers, which he spent one season with the Lakers and later move to Houston Rockets. However, the team failed to reach NBA Finals due to the rise of the Golden State Warriors. Thus, Howard return to the Eastern Conference teams after signing with Atlanta Hawks.