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Shaquille O’Neal claims 2019-20 champions would have an ‘asterisk’

NBA, Shaquille O'Neal, Lakers

NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal believes winning the Larry O’Brien trophy won’t mean as much this year due to the world’s troubling state because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Apart from suggesting that the season be scrapped immediately, the 48-year-old current TNT analyst bared that whoever wins the title this 2019-20 will have an “asterisk” on their resume.

“Just scrap it. To try and come back now and do a rush playoffs as a player? Any team that wins this year, there’s an asterisk. They’re not going to get the respect,” the NBA icon said in an interview with Mike D. Sykes of For The Win.

“What if a team that’s not really in the mix of things all of a sudden wins with a new playoff format? Nobody is going to respect that. So, scrap it. Worry about the safety of the fans and the people. Come back next year.”

All signs point to the NBA resuming its season at some point, especially following Commissioner Adam Silver’s decision to reopen practice facilities in states with eased or lifted quarantine protocols

With players no longer in shape due to the lengthy sabbatical, Shaq believes winning it all this season won’t be the same as opposed to going through the whole 82-game grind. The same could be said for teams who won during lockout seasons, who went on to play fewer games.

Being a former competitor himself, Shaquille O’Neal made it clear that he feels the need for NBA players (particularly contenders) to finish what they worked hard for, but he stands by his opinions.

“Look, I understand how players are feeling. I really do. But any team that gets it done this year, there’s going to be an asterisk on that championship,” Shaq added.