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The Dallas Mavericks have one of the most notable up-and-coming teams in the NBA‘s Western Conference. The duo of big man Kristaps Porzingis and combo guard Luka Doncic are primed to torment opponents for years to come as long as they stay healthy.
That run could start in late July when the NBA begins resuming the suspended season in Orlando, Florida. The Mavericks entered the coronavirus-induced hiatus at 40-27 and in seventh place in the conference.
But whether it’s the Mavericks holding up the Larry O’Brien Trophy or some other team, Dallas owner Mark Cuban isn’t worried about an asterisk affixed to it.
“People don’t look at [how the season played out],” Cuban told The Dan Patrick Show on Friday. “People just look at the rings on your finger.”
Patrick asked Cuban if he felt there may be a sense that the title isn’t legitimate this year. The owner didn’t even hesitate to shoot down that notion.
“No, no more than 1999,” Cuban said (video begins at 12:00 mark). “Everybody said 1999 there’d always be an asterisk and no one remembers.”
The San Antonio Spurs defeated the New York Knicks in five games to win the title after a lockout prevented the league from beginning the season until February 5. Teams completed just a 50-game season. In March, NBA teams had already completed more than 60 games.
“Or even 2012,” Cuban continued. “When there was a 66-game, post-lockout season. No one brought that up and that was a big deal because you were playing back-to-back-to-back games to get to 66 games into a season. And so that was even more difficult.”
Notably, the 2012 season produced the first NBA title for LeBron James.
James and the Los Angeles Lakers could end up champions at the end of the restart. It won’t be easy for anyone to tell him the title isn’t legitimate.