No matter your opinions on COVID-19 and the reactions it sparked from those around the world, it is inarguable that the pandemic sparked an unprecedented time for everyone on planet earth.
For the NBA in particular, they were among the first pro-sports leagues to be shut down, and it wouldn’t be for several months that it would be able to return.
When the season finally continued, it was under extremely unusual conditions — inside a “bubble” quarantine in Orlando, away from family and friends with the risk of infection looming over their heads every day.
So when the Lakers came out as the world Champions, many weren’t sure how to feel about it.
But for Gilbert Arenas, the idea that the 2020 title was somehow easier is ridiculous. If anything, he says, the pandemic actually made it harder for them.
“People are like man that was the easiest championship. I say technically, technically that is the hardest championship because it’s LeBron [James] and the Lakers. Now, when you think about the fan base of the Laker team and a LeBron team, every arena they would have went it in, he was fan favorite. So when you are in a Bubble, it took the fans’ favorite out of them. Now you don’t get booed at your own home.”
Indeed, the conditions in which the 2020 postseason was played aren’t considered desirable, by any means. For a team like the Lakers, with LeBron James, to not have the fans is a pretty big disadvantage considering the scope of their fan base.
As the number one seed in the West, the Lakers also lost out on the reward of having homecourt advantage.
Needless to say, they missed out on some things that other Championship teams got to enjoy during their run.
No matter your opinion on LBJ or the Lakeshow, you can’t deny the challenges last season presented, and they deserve at least some credit for overcoming them better than everyone else.