Miami Heat's Udonis Haslem says disrupted season won't have an asterisk effect

Shandel Richardson

The Miami Heat know all about winning a championship during a season that included a work stoppage.

In 2012, the Heat won their second NBA title in franchise history in the lockout-shortened season. With the league making plans to resume play, Miami veteran Udonis Haslem doesn't expect an asterisk to be placed alongside this year's champion.

"I don't believe so," Haslem said during a recent ESPN appearance. "And I'm saying because one year that we won the championship was one of the seasons that was a lockout season. We won the one that year. And you can use it was a shorter season, such and such and such, but a championship is a championship. And anybody knows how hard it is."

The season has been suspended since March 11 because of the coronavirus situation. The league acknowledged play could return in late July, with games held at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.

"Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place," the league said in a statement.

The Heat were the No. 4 team in the Eastern Conference standings before the suspension. If play resumes, Haslem feels it won't affect how the champion is perceived.

"That's one of the hardest things that you'll ever do as a professional athlete," Haslem said. "So if you win it, kudos to you, you deserved it."

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