The 2019-20 NBA playoffs were held in a "bubble" setting in order to preserve the health and safety of the players amid the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no doubt that the environment in Orlando was different from what fans and players are usually used to.
With that territory, many have questioned the difficulty of the 2020 NBA title that was won in the bubble. Opinions differ: some have called the title less legitimate than the ones that were won with fans, while others point to the difficulty of being away from family and the mental aspect of being in the bubble as to why it was actually harder.
Charles Barkley seems to think the former, as he has recently gone on to the Dan Le Batard Show, and talked about a variety of subjects, including the NBA Bubble. Barkley called out the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers "bubble gangsters", as both teams exited in the first round this season. (10:10)
Listen, that bubble basketball. It was a bunch of bubble gangsters. That don’t count. Bubble gangsters don’t count.
It is clear that the NBA bubble has generated a lot of discussions among those fans, and as it was a unique situation, the debates about the bubble and the title that was won there will always be there. Bubble or not, it is always difficult to get to the NBA Finals, and the Lakers and the Heat should be commended for adapting well to the situation.