The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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Should There Be an Asterisk For This Year's NBA Champ?

CP3 is in health and safety protocols. Kawhi Leonard may have a torn ACL. And the NBA playoffs keep marching on.

Leonard will become the 9th NBA All Star to be injured and miss time in this postseason alone.

The NBA playoffs have always been the most predictable in sports; that has been both its greatest strength and weakness. It’s a weakness because most of sports' best moments come when the unexpected happens. Its a strength because we often get to see a clash of the titans for the NBA Championship.

This year, the NBA is a war of attrition.

Does that mean we should put an asterisk next to the eventual champ? Should we care less? Should we qualify every conversation with a list of players that have been injured?

The simple, easy answer is absolutely not.

This is still a battle to the bitter end. Nothing about a team winning the title this year is going to be easy. 

If the Suns win their first championship in franchise history, are you really going to celebrate less because Anthony Davis had a bum knee? Or Jamal Murray was shelved with a torn ACL?

Of course not. It's going to be as memorable and satisfying to win a title for whatever team survives until the finish line.

If you win this year, it's a tale of survival, not just triumph.

Forget about putting an asterisk next to the winner and think about putting this year’s champ in bold.

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