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LeBron says no asterisk after this year’s NBA champion

May 7, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT

Miami Heat v New York Knicks - Game Four Getty Images

It was a shortened, condensed NBA season, followed by a playoffs so far filled with blowouts — of both knees and games. Everything has felt different.

So, should this year’s champion have an asterisk after it?

LeBron James says no, reports ESPN.

“I don’t think that’s right to say,” James said. “I’m not going to get involved in it. Every team works hard no matter if it’s a lockout year or not. There’s not much of a difference between 82 games and 66 games….

“I don’t discredit the effort San Antonio had when they won it in ’99 after the lockout,” James said. “We all know Gregg Popovich is an unbelievable coach and Tim Duncan is an unbelievable player. It shouldn’t matter. They won multiple (titles) after that so are we going to say that first one wasn’t good enough? I don’t think that’s true at all.”

The Spurs 1999 banner looks exactly like the other three, the ring from that year does not have a diamond asterisk.

I think the idea of an asterisk due to injuries (such as Derrick Rose in Chicago this year) is preposterous. Injuries shape the playoffs every year. Does the Lakers 2010 title get an asterisk because Kendrick Perkins was hurt for Game 7? Does Boston’s 2008 title have an asterisk because Andrew Bynum was out for the Lakers? We could play that game for virtually every championship run ever. Luck and health are part of it.

As for one after the title, some fans will put it there anyway — especially if the hated Heat won the title. But in the end that’s not how we will view it, a decade from now it will be a title. A ring is a ring. Whoever gets it will not put an asterisk on the banner.

  1. jd - May 7, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    * League mvp out for the playoffs. No legitimate champion.

    • florida727 - May 7, 2012 at 12:59 PM

      Disagree. Everyone played 66 games in ~120 days. Everyone played with the same limitations to practice, the excessive travel, the same condensed schedule. Everyone ran the same risk of injuries.

      I’m a Bulls fan, so it pains me to say this, but I actually agree with LeBum. No asterisks. Whoever wins it will have done so under the same conditions/circumstances as those they beat on the court. (Hmm, didn’t hurt as bad as I thought it would.)

  2. Mr. Wright 212 - May 7, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    The only asterisk will be IF Miami “wins” it all — due to the ref help they get that is unprecedented.

    Otherwise, no, the Spurs don’t have an asterisk for 1999 nor should they. Anyone else winning it will have a legit title also, but Miami. The league office agenda is so clear that it makes Crystal Pepsi appear opaque.

    • blueintown - May 7, 2012 at 2:52 PM

      The Heat don’t win because of the refs. The Heat win because they are bigger, faster, and stronger than other teams’ best players. Get over it.

    • papabush88 - May 7, 2012 at 5:45 PM

      Doesn’t make any sense. I’m a Lakers fan, but I can admit that LeBron is better than Kobe. And I’m not just talking about this season. LeBron is the villain, and every LeBron hater out there says “LeBron isn’t the best because he hasn’t won a championship.” Well, first of all, his first 7 seasons were wasted in Cleveland. That city couldn’t win anything significant. Secondly, I knew that if the Heat were to win a championship this year, everyone would say that it doesn’t count due to the shortened season. Just dumb. There’s a reason that every week someone writes an article asking if LeBron is the greatest of all time or the greatest right now. There’s a reason that happens so often….LeBron is VERY VERY good.

  3. drunkenjunk - May 7, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    I can’t stand Bron but if he wins the title this year why would anyone put an * by it. That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. I can’t believe people would even talk about this. A ring’s a ring and a title is a title. I don’t hold it against the Spurs that they swept that awful Cleveland team that was Lebron carrying a bunch of dead weight.

    • dal24la - May 7, 2012 at 4:25 PM

      Wow, awful is a compliment. That may have been the WORST Finals team ever.

      • drunkenjunk - May 7, 2012 at 4:50 PM

        lol, true. Not many other ways to say it w/o a bunch of expletives.

      • dal24la - May 7, 2012 at 6:49 PM

        Lol so true.

  4. cantonbound13 - May 7, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    No doubt Miami’s road to the finals is easier. They will have home court the rest of the way because of the Bull’s injuries to Rose & Noah. Half the Knick team is injured & hasn’t been able to give them much of a fight. They don’t have to deal with a dominant big man in Dwight Howard. Atlanta has 2 big players out & Ray Allen is hurt for the Celtics. As far as the West goes, the defending champs gave up before the year started to clear up cap space. The Lakers are missing World Peace & now the favorites in the West, Oklahoma City lost their starting center.
    If the Heat don’t win it this year, it will just prove how overrated these guys are.

    • noirad - May 7, 2012 at 12:46 PM

      your stupid.

      • cantonbound13 - May 7, 2012 at 12:52 PM

        I hope you didn’t hurt yourself trying to think of a well thought reply. By the way, do you know what asterisk means? Better yet, can you spell asterisk?

      • cantonbound13 - May 7, 2012 at 12:53 PM

        Just to show who the stupid one is, it’s you’re stupid not your stupid. IDIOT!!!!!

  5. noirad - May 7, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    LeBron’s PR man should get the MVP trophy this year, cause LeBron has been saying all of the right things. hahaha

  6. mungman69 - May 7, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    A non story

  7. fouldwimmerlaik - May 7, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Lebron isn’t Kobe. He never will be Kobe. And until he is Kobe he so totally won’t be, so NYAH!

    • Sinan - May 7, 2012 at 3:31 PM

      I just re-read the article….I don’t see LeBron saying that he wants to be Kobe. In fact he didn’t say he wants to be anyone so your comment sucks…just saying

      • Sinan - May 7, 2012 at 3:33 PM

        ” And until he is Kobe he so totally won’t be”…Is that English? ….

        fouldwimmerlaik is not an English Teacher. He never will be an English Teacher. And until he is an English Teacher he so totally won’t be, so NYAH!

      • fouldwimmerlaik - May 8, 2012 at 1:27 PM


    • fouldwimmerlaik - May 8, 2012 at 12:54 AM

      @ impostor fouldwimmerlaik: Hey Hank the W@nk! You really got out of your way to set up that account to just discredit me with all your juvenile comments, huh?

      I’m impressed and flattered.

      I must have really OWNED you in our last debates for you to take that effort. Must be some darn bad @$$ traumatic experience…

      I pity you.

      Carry on. LOL!

  8. isaiahforreal - May 7, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    If anything wouldn’t a condensed schedule be more taxing on players?

  9. rdssc - May 7, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Phil Jackson is rolling a blunt laughing at you and Lebron. Of course this season will have an Asterick

    “You want to have a season that is comparable to what it is like to play a season of basketball,” Jackson said.

    I’ll go with the coach who has the most rings on this one. He will rip the Spurs for that title until he dies.

  10. Mr. Wright 212 - May 7, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    The Lakers won’t be missing Ron when it MATTERS. They are finishing off Denver in Game 5, and he will only miss one game of the OKC series.

  11. rejamaro - May 7, 2012 at 2:43 PM


  12. drewzducks - May 7, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    I’m sure OKC, the Lakers and Spurs are appreciative of this wonderful gesture.

  13. rejamaro - May 7, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Only add an asterisk if Miami wins. Just cause I can’t stand LeBron!

  14. asublimeday - May 7, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Yeah, Kendrick Perkins and Andrew Bynum are just like Derek Rose. Eye roll.

    • fouldwimmerlaik - May 8, 2012 at 12:48 AM

      I agree. Perk and Drew are so unlike Rose.

      Both have rings.

      Eye roll.

  15. morgan420 - May 7, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Lets go heat! James this is the year man, keep it together I’n the 4th and its money in the bank

  16. cosmicatomic - May 7, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Well, I don’t really disagree with him and his logic is sound…..but to be fair, he’d probably be singing a different tune if Wade or Bosh were the ones suffering torn ACLs.

    • borderline1988 - May 7, 2012 at 5:27 PM

      You really think Lebron would advocate putting an asterisk next to, say, the 2012 Spurs, for winning this year’s title if Chris Bosh was injured in the postseason? Lebron haters are really nuts.
      I understand if you don’t like the guy b/c he’s obviously a prima dona who loves attention, but get over yourself already.

      The Heat cruised to the Finals last year, including beatdowns of the (totally healthy) Bulls and Celtics, yet people want to suggest that an asterisk should be put next to their eventual championship because Rose is injured and Stoudemire missed a game because he punched a fire hydrant.
      The Heat were the clear favourites to make the Finals before those injuries happened, and still are. Everyone knows that the real test will be the Spurs, Thunder or Lakers. Just please stop with this irrational nonsense.

  17. mariner425 - May 7, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    I would put an asterisk on the NBA for the last 10 years or so. The NBA sucks now. Put any of these teams in the playoffs from 85′-95′ and they would get smoked.

  18. dal24la - May 7, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Like Bill Simmons said, no asterisk for titles or records unless they’re is cheating, otherwise it is just footnote of a varying size lol.
    And there definitely should be a footnote that the Heat’s biggest competition in Heat that had last seasons’ MVP lost there MVP.

  19. lakerluver - May 7, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Why should LBJ care, the “Heatles” ain’t winning a title this season anyway.

  20. jacohans11 - May 7, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    I do not think an asterisk should apply to this season as long as this Heat team is able to win another but if this is their only title there should be some sort of footnote at least.

  21. ghelton03 - May 7, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    James is saying that now, because ESPN has inflated his ego so much and already given Miami the title for the second year in a row (5 more to go). When Miami loses (and they will), James will be changing his tune and talking about needing a full season next year. Of course he will lose again, not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, but 7 times LeBron has already said he will NOT win.

  22. canehouse - May 7, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    it must be very difficult to go through life everyday with so much hate about a person or to go through life with so many negative thoughts. Get over it… let it fly away.

  23. steelerswin6 - May 7, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Agree ghelton03, LeLoser will not be a champ anytime soon.

  24. lakerluver - May 7, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    @borderline1988, the Celtics were healthy last season? Hmm, what about Rondo playing with one arm? As I said earlier, LBJ won’t have to worry about an asterisk. If Boston and Miami meet in the Conf. Finals the C’s will beat them in 6 or 7 games. The Heat look like world beaters against the weaker teams. Against the good teams they are very beatable. 2 great players, 1 good player, and 9 scrubs can’t beat the good teams.

  25. drewdatwit84 - May 7, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    Take that asterisk and shove it up you’re asses, haters.
    Everyone played the SAME AMOUNT of games in the same amount of time. Its not the Heat’s fault that some players get injured easier than others. Now whether u like it or not:
    LeBron will win the MVP trophy.
    The Heat will win the NBA title this year.
    LeBron just might get the Finals MVP trophy too.
    Suck on that.

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