Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks went into NBA sabbitcal with the best record in basketball.

You can bet your asterisk the 2020 NBA championship is going to be legitimate.

“Sounds like sellout material to me” – HKHS

That’s Giannis Antetokounmpo’s narrow minded way of 👀ing it.

“I feel like this is going to be the toughest championship you could ever win,” Antetokounmpo told reporters on a conference video call after participating in the Bucks’ first day of individual workouts at their training facility in Milwaukee.

“Because circumstances are really tough right now. Whoever wants it more is going to be able to go out there and take it.”

There has been an idea spearheaded some – including Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal – that the unmatched, stop-and-start, pass-spring-and-go-directly-to-summer resumption of the 2019-2020 season (pushing the Finals into autumn), will manufacture a fraudulent, lucky , on the spot NBA championship.

HKHS agrees vehemently with Shaquille O’Neal and some who have this thought provoking mindset intact from this least path of resistance NBA Tournament filled faisco!

In May, the legendary big man turned commentator on TNT’s “Inside The NBA” show wondered if this year of rare set of conditions may create an underserving champion.

“Most of the time you could predict who is going to win a championship,” O’Neal said. “Now what if we come back and a team that wasn’t supposed to win wins. There’s going to be an asterisk behind that championship.”

That’s one way to 👀 it. Others could give an opposing viewpoint that surviving the on- and off-court challenges posed by the coronavirus shutdown and the “bubble” return in Orlando, on top of four best-of-seven playoff series, could result in the most arduous, phenomenal title run yet.

Antetokounmpo, whose Milwaukee team again marked the NBA’s best regular-season record at (53-12) prior to the March 11 deferment, holds that view as he and the Bucks resuscitate their title lifeline.

“Like I said before, this is the toughest title,” said the 2019 MVP winner and favorite to repeat this year. “You go somewhere without your family for three months and you haven’t played basketball for three-and-a-half, four months. Whatever team wants it more has got to be mentally prepared for this situation. And has to go out there and execute.

“Teams got to be in shape. So whoever took care of themselves for these four months we weren’t able to play, [they are] gonna be in a better position. … Whoever wants it more, whoever is mentally prepared for all this, that team is going to come out on top.”

The asterisk talk in NBA circles goes back at least to 1999, when the San Antonio Spurs beat the New York Knicks in the Finals at the end of a lockout-shortened season. That shortened schedule allowed for just 50 games before the playoffs, and San Antonio played a paltry 67 games in capturing the franchise’s first championship.

The following spring, in a bit of disparaging one-upmanship, Lakers coach Phil Jackson pondered if the Spurs’ feat needed some sort of classifier or disclaimer. Consequently, the asterisk.

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer was an assistant coach on that San Antonio staff. He feels now what he felt then about trying to gauge the value of a championship.

Please, stop.

“I feel like the champion from this experience, from this season, is going to be more worthy and more special than any champion,” Budenholzer said.

Every year is different, he said. Every year seems to favor one team or the other as the playoffs approach, though reality rarely plays out as expected.

This intermittent and all too exposed restart is contrary to anything that has come before it. One positive test can bench your star player or group of players – or the other team’s star or group – for a week in the middle of a run.

And that’s just for starters. Antetokorestarspoke about an assortment of components over which he and other NBA players will have almost no control. Any one of which – separation in the “bubble,” isolation from family and friends, being the hare in the race instead of the turtle – can crash a player, his team or the entire causation.

Just shooting and lifting weights Wednesday in the “new normal” of social distancing, wearing masks and selective coach-and-teammate contact gave the Bucks a taste of safeguards and adjustments to come.

“It’s kind of weird, I’m not gonna lie to you,” Antetokounmpo said. “Training tables are like six feet apart from one another. Coaches are wearing masks. We’ve got to be really careful after we shoot, we’ve got to leave the court and allow the next person to come in and shoot.

“You’re not as close to your teammate as you want to be.”

From all that social distancing since early March, Milwaukee and the other 21 teams that will show up to the Walt Disney complex outside Orlando will be segregated until they have gone 🐟in or a champion is determined. Distanced from the social issues that spirited so many NBA players in June. No fans in the arena, no home or road court experience.

“Now that we don’t have the [home court] advantage anymore, it sucks a little bit,” Antetokounmpo said. “We worked all year to play at home, play with our fans. We tried hard to be at home. … Not being able to have them out there, I think it’s going to be hard to live with.

“But at the end of the day, we won’t have fans, other teams won’t have fans.”

Antetokounmpo became a father back in February when his girlfriend Mariah Riddlesprigger gave birth to their son Liam Charles. Per the bubble regulations, players’ family and friends will not be allowed to participate withthem until after the playoffs’ first round. That may take place until late August, which is worse than any elongated faisco related road trips in a normal filled regular season.

“I’ve traveled though China, traveled through France and stayed for two or three weeks. In the hotel, just playing basketball,” said Antetokounmpo, mentioning youth FIBA tournaments that kept him away from home for long stretches. “Obviously it’s tough. I can’t imagine going there for three months.”

Now add this wrinkle: Seeing your arch nemeses, the guys vying for the same trophy and legacy-enhancer, day after day after day. All these competitive rivals will be holed up in the same place.

Antetokounmpo thinks the early hiccups of performance TV viewers see early, mistakes of timing or rust, will improve rapidly. But seeing James Harden, Anthony Davis, Pascal Siakam off the clock, hanging out, may take some getting used to.

“It’s going to be hard,” he said. “When you go against somebody, you don’t live with them. You don’t want to see them every day. You don’t want to go down and grab lunch or dinner and see them right there in front of you.

“I’ve just got to stay locked in. Mind my business, not say much. Obviously I’m going to see them, but they’re going to see me too. It goes both ways.”

Now intermingle in all the not seen turns and challenges of the “bubble” project, including consequential events the league – however cagey – won’t have predicted, and it’s clear why Antetokounmpo and others falsely accepted whomever wins in 2020 will be quenched, and not watered down.

Said Budenholzer: “The challenges of this season, y’know, this pandemic, everything that’s happening in our country, the ability for a team to go back and compete and play against the other [21] teams and come out as a champion, in my mind it will be more special and more meaningful.

“They’re all special, they’re all incredible. If you won one, you can say whatever you want about it. That team is happy.”

“If anyone wins one this year, the whole league will be taking a major gamble due to all the challenges facing them with Global Pandemic. All in all, no matter who wins, this year will be indeed filled with major key alert “asterisks” indeed. So Giannis Antetokounmpo’s comments have to questioned entirely due to his sellout thought provoking motives behind by them.”- HKHS

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