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Killing the Asterisk: We Can’t Keep Tarnishing the NBA Title

We all need a reason.

When something different to what we want happens, we need a reason to dismiss it. A reason to say ‘well that doesn’t count because of this reason’ or ‘this isn’t my fault because of this’.

Stop it. Stuff happens. It’s ok.

Of particular interest to me, is the insane amount of reasoning, excuse making and general panic that goes into trying to over explain why an NBA Champion is not legitimate. In the last few days since the Raptors clinched the NBA Championship in game 6 of the Finals, we’ve collectively gone insane.

Some amougnst us (not all but enough of us) are guilty of saying some version of this:

“Well if Klay and Durant were healthy, I don’t think the Raptors win the title so I feel cheated out of a real champion”

Then some (not all) of us are guilty of engaging with these silly people responding with something like this:

“If you’re saying this doesn’t count than 2015 doesn’t count because Kyrie and Kevin Love were hurt in the Finals so put an asterisk next to that one”.

Then some of us (not all) have devolved to the lowest forms of takes, attempting to mistakenly audit everyone’s rings and see which ones count which one’s don’t, changing the way in which we should look at the legacy of the game’s greatest stars. As usual, we can rely on poor take enthusiast Max Kellerman for such a lazy take.

So if we want to use the asterisk for all titles (which almost no one does because everyone using this stupid argument is trying to tear down someone they don’t like and push someone they do….I’m looking at you Kobe and LeBron fans), lets look at every finals and see if we can apply one.

(NOTE: These are not my opinions, I’m just going all in on a philosophy which I find repulsive in every way)

So if the Raptors doesn’t count, then last year’s Golden State title doesn’t count because Chris Paul got hurt in the Western Conference Finals. Then we go to 2017, where the Warriors beat the Spurs in the Western Conference finals after Kawhi hurt his ankle on a suspect close out from Zaza.

So no legitimate champions so far! 2016 the Cavs win the title with some help from Draymond’s game 5 suspension for the nut punching of LeBron (so Kyrie’s game winner in game 7 doesn’t count for anything). So there goes 2016 as well, and go ahead and cross 2015 off because Kyrie and Love were out.

You could cross off 2014 because LeBron’s leg cramped in game 1, but maybe we can keep that one cause we like the Spurs and they play such good team basketball. 2013 counts because it’s a good story that LeBron conquered the Spurs and 2012 counts for the same reason. 2011 counts too because the Mavericks were just so gosh darn lovable.

But 2010 doesn’t count because Kendrick Perkins was injured and the C’s never lost a series when the Rondo-Allen-Pierce-Garnett-Perkins starting five was healthy (just ask Doc Rivers) and 2009 doesn’t count either because the Celtics were the best team until KG got hurt for the year. So bye bye Kobe’s back to back.

Image result for kobe jumps on scorers table nba finals
“no no Kobe jump down from there, your title wasn’t ‘legit’ enough for you to celebrate”
Photo by Garrett Ellwood from NBAE/Getty Images

Bynum was carrying a knee injury in 2008 that affected his playoff push so there goes the Celtics title (by the way, look up the Gino Time 2008 Finals moment, cause it’s hilarious. The Celtics play ‘You Should be Dancing’ by the Bee Gees when they blow a team out and Gino himself was in the building). 2007 saw the Spurs get past the Suns in the Semi Final due to the suspension of Stoudimire and Diaw for leaving the bench after Nash got bodied into the scorers table, so bye bye Spurs title/legacy. 2006 doesn’t count because Wade shot 25 free throws in game 5 and that was rigged, 2004 doesn’t count because the Lakers didn’t have Karl Malone… I’m already tired of this exercise.

It’s a shame this moment isn’t legit

See how crappy this is? Think of the memories that are totally disregarded due to this ludicrous ideology, that the title is meant to be more or less legitimate because of how it was won.

That devalues the Championship and minimises the work that players, coaches and front offices do to put themselves into position to win a title. Yes it takes a lot of skill and cohesion, but titles also take a hell of a lot of luck.

So if want to live your life trying ti take stock on who one thing legitimately as a way of making yourself feel better than your team didn’t win or someone you don’t like did win, then good luck to you.

But if you would like to enjoy your life and your basketball, then just throw your hands up in the air and admit that random crap happens everyday. The people who win in the end are the people who played what was in front of them.

Don’t make it about something else other than Basketball.

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