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Should the 2020 NBA championship have an asterisk next to the winner’s name?
Miami Heat President Pat Riley seems to think there should be. He told the Miami Herald in an interview Friday he would want to see how the series would have gone with everyone healthy and that LeBron James’ fourth championship should come with a citation.
“I would like to see what it would be like with everybody whole. We’ll get our chance again. The Lakers have the greatest player in the game today in LeBron [James] and Anthony Davis,” Riley told the Miami Herald.
“They beat us fair and squarely. But there will always be that asterisk; if we had Bam and Goran 100% — Goran was our leading scorer [entering the Finals] — it might have gone to a seventh game.”
Riley attempted to clarify his comments in an interview with the Associated Press. He told the AP: "The asterisk is next to the Heat’s name, not the Lakers. Their title is legitimate. Our loss has an asterisk (next) to it. The Lakers were the better team. Period."
Talk of an asterisk next to the champion was the topic of conversation among fans and pundits going into the shortened season in the bubble and the games to determine the seeding in the playoffs.
But having players be without their families for about three months, getting tested every day, and dealing with the fear the coronavirus may somehow sneak into the environment, there’s no real way to say that the title would be illegitimate.
Fans have made the same case about the Heat winning the title during the 2011-12 season, which was shortened because of the lockout.