This year’s NBA playoffs will be different than any playoffs in the league’s history. While the format will be the same, it will be played much later in the year due to the coronavirus pandemic. For context, Game 7 of the 2019 NBA Finals was played on June 13. If the Finals go to a Game 7 this year, it will be played on October 13.
The unorthodox nature of the 2019-20 season has led many to believe that whoever wins the championship will have an asterisk next to their title. Silver Screen and Roll’s own Jas Kang spoke to Lakers rookie Devontae Cacok about that in notion, and Cacok explained why he disagrees:
“I think, honestly, for a team to win a championship this year, I give them more credit because there has been so much coming on. You’re off for two months, you come back, you’re in a bubble without your family, you’re not able to go home. Like you’ve got to be locked up in a bubble and still be able to come out, still be able to lock in, still be able to focus on your body, focus on your job, focus on the game that you love to play, and you come out on top and win the rest of the regular season... and then be able to play seven-game series’ and still win a championship? I give them more credit, honestly, because I feel like so much is going on, to be able to have the mental focus to be able to do that, that’s impressive.
Obviously it’s different with the regular season and being able to have the regular format and regular timing of everything, and flow of everything, but either way it’s hard to win a championship. But I think with all the ups and downs of this going, it would still be, if anything, more credit to who wins it.”
Cacok isn’t the only Laker that feels this way. Last month, Quinn Cook told Jim Rome that whoever wins the championships this season will “really deserve it” because of how long gyms were closed.
Both Cacok and Cook make strong cases. Truthfully, there was nothing for any team to gain from the season being suspended, aside from the fact that it gave some players extra time to get healthy. Even then, the players that it theoretically benefited, like Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins, aren’t playing.
All that being said: if any team but the Lakers wins the championship this season, there should be an asterisk next to their title. Those are the rules.