Shai Gilgeous-Alexander no Asterisk for Champion

Erik Gee

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander says whoever wins the NBA championship this year doesn't deserve an asterisk attached to their accomplishment. "I just think we're all high-level basketball players, best in the world."

"And no matter the outside circumstance, we still have to play basketball."...."Put the basketball in the bucket more than the other team does and win the game." 

"And the team that does that the most deserves all the accolades that it comes with, and for me, it's the same thing there's no difference  than a regular NBA championship." MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo not only agrees with Gilgeous-Alexander he believes that winning the O'Brien trophy this season may be harder than in years past. 

"I feel like a lot of people say that there's gonna be a star next to this championship."... "I feel like, at the end of the day, this is gonna be the toughest championship you could ever win -- because the circumstances are really, really tough right now. So whoever wants it more is going to be able to go out there and take it." 

Antetokounmpo has a valid point. A long lay off followed by a hurried training camp could set older stars up for injuries they may not have suffered if the season were to have continued as scheduled. You also have the possibility of super-stars testing positive for COVID-19 and being forced to miss games. 

Then there is the mental health aspect that must be taken into consideration. How focused will players be on basketball if they are more concerned about their health and the effects of coronavirus?  

The NBA's bubble experiment will reward not just the most athletic and healthiest team. But also the one who was mentally the toughest. 

Milwaukee Bucks Head coach Mike Budenholzer says, "I feel like the champion from this experience, from this season, I think is going to be more worthy and probably more special than any [other] champion."

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