Over three years ago the Los Angeles Lakers pulled off one of the most impressive NBA Championships in league history. While naysayers have downplayed the championship since, the Lakers (as well as the other NBA teams involved) had to overcome adversity that was never before seen.
The Lakers won the championship in the Orlando Bubble. Despite what the naysayers say, this was a daunting task for a Lakers team that had to stop the season right when the team was picking up momentum only to spend three months away from family to win a ring.
It was a test of endurance and the Lakers endured longer than any other team could. Players and fans have used this as an excuse as to why the Lakers won, and are still bringing it up three years later. Former Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams told Trae Young on his podcast that the Clippers would have won the title that season if not for the bubble.
Former Clippers are still making excuses for the Lakers’ 2020 title
The Clippers were a very good basketball team during the 2019-20 season but let’s not pretend like it was going to be some kind of runaway for them if the pandemic didn’t hault the season. First of all, the Lakers were really starting to round into form before the season paused and had one of the best records in the league. It wasn’t like they were an eight-seed that only snuck in because of the bubble.
Second of all, the Clippers may have benefitted from the fact that the season was paused for so long as it gave Kawhi Leonard and Paul George rest. These are two guys who are notoriously injury prone and they have proven time and time again that an entire season with the playoffs might be too much to handle.
Yes, Williams has a point that it was tough for him and the Clippers to win in that environment but it was equally as tough for the Lakers. It’s not like the Clippers had to sleep at a Motel 6 while the Lakers got to sleep at a Disney World Resort. Every player in the bubble had to deal with the same issues. The Lakers just proved to be the team best equipped to handle it.
Cream rises to the top and even though it was unconventional, the best team ultimately won the NBA Championship in 2020. Williams, other Clippers players and Clippers fans can all convince themselves that it would have been different if the bubble did not happen.
The fact of the matter is that it would not have been.