SI Insider: Should The NBA Championship Be Called Something Else This Year?

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With the NBA season likely to return this summer after a long break, many players and fans want the playoffs to be called something else. SI's Chris Mannix breaks down the fallout of having such an unusual season start up again. 

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The resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season feels inevitable, with the league tentatively moving forward with plans to pick up the season at some point in mid-July. But when the season resumes, there are questions among some team officials that I've spoken to about what it should be called. The league wants to crown a 2019-20 champion. Adam Silver has said he wants to protect the integrity of the playoffs by having each series be seven games. But there are a number of different people across the league that have expressed to me concern that it wouldn't be a continuation of the season. That a resumed season would effectively be a new thing. 

Team officials have pointed to different players being in and out of the lineups. Whether it's Bojan Bogdanovic in Utah being sidelined for the rest of the season following surgery, or Ben Simmons, who looked like he might be out for a traditional postseason, potentially being able to return at some point in mid-July. There are going to be other players and other teams affected by what could be nearly a three or four month layoff before guys start getting back into shape. There are some team officials who would prefer it to be called an NBA Cup or some other terminology besides a traditional champion because it really is something new, as opposed to something continued. 

Now, the NBA has made it clear that they want to crown a real champion this year. And the teams I've talked to have said for the betterment of the league, they're going to go along with whatever Adam Silver says. But it does beg the question, will there be an asterisk attached to the winner of this upcoming playoffs? Or will we look at them as really the 74th NBA champion?