Shaq: The NBA Should Cancel the Season Because the Championship Would Come With an Asterisk

Stephen Douglas
Shaq at All-Star Weekend.
Shaq at All-Star Weekend. / Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
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The NBA remains in limbo with commissioner Adam Silver telling players in a conference call on Friday that a final decision on the fate of the 2019-2020 season was not imminent and might not come until some time in June. While players and fans wait to find out what happens, Shaquille O'Neal pointed out a harsh truth in an interview posted on For The Win on Saturday.

"I think we should scrap the season. Everybody go home, get healthy, come back next year. Just scrap the season. 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. 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."

O'Neal makes a lot of good points in one short answer. If the league comes back to finish this season, the champion will definitely have to deal with an asterisk. People have enough trouble giving credits to teams who win in full seasons when there is an injury to an opponent or they come out of the perceived weaker conference. If you think a team is going to get through a shortened regular season and then come out on top of a funky playoff format, fans of every other team - and plenty of hot take artists - will line up to disparage the title.

Having said that, the NBA should definitely do it if it can be done safely because basketball is fun to watch and seeing the league try something different would be interesting, no matter how we feel about the champion. Just because people would complain about the eventual outcome is no reason to shut it down.

If there are concerns about how they could accomplish the completion of the season, then yes, forget it. Let everyone get healthy and come back when the world has a better outlook. Besides, if that happens, fans can still argue about who would have won this season if they weren't robbed.

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