Since the NBA season was suspended in march due to COVID-19, mostly everything has been up in the air. Players went multiple months with minimal basketball and training and were stuck in quarantine for the most part. So how much does this year’s championship really mean?
There are two parts to this argument. On one hand, every team is cooped up in Orlando for the rest of the season so it will be basketball, basketball, and more basketball for 3 months. The athletes do not have their families with them, their regular training environment, and most teams do not even have their own court. There are folks who will say that this year’s championship means nothing because there was a 3 month break and the circumstances are different. There will be no fans in the stands or any sense of home court advantage. In terms of playoff basketball, those two things are major factors. Essentially I am expecting the vibe of all playoff games to be that of a super intense pickup game. With no fans, we will be able to hear everything. Every call from the coaches, every piece of trash talk between the players, and even arguments between refs and players. These things may not seem essential to the outcome of a basketball game but every little detail contributes over the course of a full game. So while many people will say that this championship is not as significant because the circumstances make it more of a pickup basketball type of atmosphere, I disagree. I think that because players will be in environments that they are completely not used to it will make the path to a championship even harder. Because players will not be with their families until they are eliminated, the challenge is mental. To be able to be without your loved ones and only focus on basketball for 3 months straight is hard and to keep the same energy and mentality throughout the whole bubble will be a lot to handle. Also, a lot of players have come out and said we play for the fans and that made me think. With no fans, a lot of players will not have that sme energy and charisma because there is no one watching. The team who sticks to basketball and really mentally challenge themselves to grind as hard as possible for 3 months will come out on top and in my opinion should get extra credit because of how much of a mental challenge the whole 2019-2020 NBA season was. The 2020 NBA championship should go down as one of the hardest to ever win just because of all the circumstances.