Doc Rivers: “Whoever wins it this year, they’re gonna earn it”

Doc Rivers Kawhi Leonard
Photo: Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

This season is different from any other previous NBA season due to the coronavirus pandemic. It came to an unexpected halt as the playoffs were getting closer. Like the rest of population, the players had to quarantine themselves which limited their access to practice facilities.

Once NBA returns, it will also be in a different setting than what the players are used to. There will be no fans, teams will be laying in a bubble where home court advantage will virtually mean nothing. All of these circumstances mean that a team that wins a championship will have a different path than other past winners. NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal said the new NBA champions will have an asterisk.

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, who was a guest on his son Austin’s podcast Go Off with Austin Rivers, is of a different opinion. He thinks there will be no asterisk because all of the teams will have the same conditions and will earn the title.

“I don’t think people care about asterisks who win,” Doc said, per Drew Shiller of NBC Sports.¬†“Of course they are (going to say there is an asterisk). We did play 70 games¬†already (66, actually). Somebody may get injured or something so that’s an asterisk. But you can do that with any champion. ‘They won because this guy got hurt.’ When you win the title, you win it.

Everybody else had the same playing field that you had. Whoever wins it this year, they’re gonna earn it. There are no free championships given in the NBA. There are not.”

The Clippers are one of the three main favorites to win it all this season alongside city rivals Lakers and Bucks. Currently, they are second in the Western Conference, just behind the Lakers.