Doc Rivers: NBA Champion Deserves 'Gold Star,' Not Asterisk
NBA fans will always find a way to attach an asterisk to a given year's champion, and this year won't be any different.
Given the extreme circumstances (coronavirus impact, bubble campus, no fans or home-court advantage), it would seem like this is the one year where it makes sense to include that asterisk. However, many around the NBA — including LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers — believe this year's champion deserves more recognition for winning, rather than less.
"You know, I was talking to the Commissioner last week, and he made a comment, which I agree, he said, the team that wins this will deserve a gold star, not an asterisk," Rivers said. "If you think about the mental toughness it's going to take to — whoever comes out of this, it's going to come down to that. It's going to come down to talent. It's going to come down to teams trying to get back together and play together. But there's going to be so many things that are thrown at us that we don't even know yet that it's really going to be a mental toughness challenge."
Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo made similar comments this week, claiming that this championship will be the most difficult to win to date. Both Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel echoed his statement.
The Clippers endured one of those challenges on Thursday when the practice facility was reportedly shut down due to a positive coronavirus test within the team's traveling party. There's been no official word as to when it will open back up, but with LA's travel date less than a week away, the Clippers don't have long to get in shape.
Once the NBA season picks back up later this month, we should be able to get a better understanding of how difficult this is going to be for players, coaches and team staff to endure for the next several months.