Monday, May 7th, 2012 at 9:50 am  |  75 responses

LeBron James: No Asterisk on 2012 NBA Champion

Ever since Phil Jackson infamously claimed the San Antonio Spurs deserved to have an asterisk placed on their NBA title in 1999, the theme gets trotted out whenever a shortened season is played. LeBron James completely disagrees with the notion. From 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.’ James said he believes the opposite is true. This has been a more difficult season than usual because of the demanding schedule and therefore the eventual champion would have had a more challenging road. ‘This is a tough season; this is a difficult season for everyone,’ James said. ‘This is the toughest season since my rookie year. This is very challenging to us mentally and physically.’”

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  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Well said, LBJ.

  • MeloMan15


  • nails

    LBJ is right. This type of stuff matters the least in the NBA where talent alone will usually decide whether or not you’re in the playoffs or not. The playoffs are what matters.

  • nails

    In fact that should change the season to 50 – 60 games every season because it creates a lot better basketball and gets rid of boring useless games. Playing more games wont help to tell us who is better, it only tells us which teams got lucky enough to stay healthy.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    Yes there is, are you kidding me? The number 1 seed in the NBA with the MVP are not going to be there. Yes the Bulls lost last year, no the bulls might’ve not made it to the ECF even with a healthy Rose and Noah this year but they’ve got as good a shot as anyone in the league to beat the Heat. SO f*ck yeah there’s an asterisk when (again) THE REIGNING MVP on the number one squad in the NBA (who happen to be in the same conference) is out. IF the Heat become champions you better believe alot of people will mention the Bulls and Rose. That, ladies and gentleman, is an asterisk. That does NOT mean this year’s championship is undeserved or easy. It just means there’s a little sidenote whenever you mention the NBA Champions of 2012

  • Vi

    Dear Lebron,
    2011/12 Nba season is an “ASTERISK” season like 1998/99! Too many injuries, too many games, one ASTERISK!!!

  • Ali


  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    I think Drose and the Bulls deserve that sidenote. Yes I’m a homer but people who are hoop junkies are probably going to agree.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Maybe not an asterisk, but a footnote, definitely.

  • everything

    lol at these asterisk talks. all players in the nba play under the same rules. some get injured and some dont. its just the way it is. we cant dwell on the what ifs and what couldve been since theres no way to determine that. saying that the eventual champs will have an asterisk or a sidenote because DROSE is injured is short sighted and illogical. first it automatically assumes that the BULLS will represent the east in the finals. its like saying that since they are the top seed in the east with the reigning mvp, the sixers, celtics, hawks, pacers, magic, heat and knicks wont stand a chance against them which is not true.

  • Mike Mihalow

    Its harder to win in a shortened season, IMO, so its a positive asterisk, if anything. +*

  • everything

    too many games indeed and yes there are too many injuries so whoever comes out on top in june will indeed be a champ who truly deserves it and earned it the harder way.

  • CubicleWorker

    Let’s also include a footnote about how 2 of the other top 3 players in the east aren’t playing in the playoff.

  • jay cutler

    haters.. give me a break.

    Does that mean Kobe should have an asterisk next to his chips because he played after MJ’s prime?

    Where do the silly ‘what ifs’ and ‘shoulda woulda couldas’ end?


    @jay cutler: your example makes no sense to the context of this article.

  • everything

    perk was injured in 2010 finals therefore lakers deserve an asterisk next to their chip?
    how about KG being injured in 2009, is that another asterisk to the lakers 09 chip? they played orl btw.
    how about boston’s asterisk in 2008 because bynum wasnt playing for the lakers?

  • http://YouTube.com/watch?v=wbxrapo0itg SirGrey

    Phil Jackson could suck it. What about that Kings-Lakers WCF that got fixed.
    C-Webb, Bibby and that team were the champs that year, imo.

  • bike

    If the playoffs were shortened then, yes, a footnote is deserved. Every team that should be in the playoffs is there so a shortened regular season is irrelevant.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    It’s not about the shortened season, but the injuries to key guys on Playoff teams. C’mon… This shouldn’t be *that* hard to grasp.
    I see the basketball IQ’s of the resident village idiots hasn’t increased much.

  • http://abcnews.com charliewinning

    The Heat’s biggest challenge to the title would have still been whomever comes out West, injuries or not. I hate the Heat, not a fan of LBJ, but even I’m astounded by how much people love to try to take away from them. No perfectly healthy team in the East was getting past them this year. If everyone was healthy y’all would find another excuse for why there should be an asterisk.

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Village idiots: Slamonline, where a contrary opinion leads to insults.
    Gotta luv it.
    Yeah, reduced commenting has it’s virtues.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Cosign BC. Whoever wins the title is still legitimately a champion…but there is definitely more to the story then a normal season. There should actually be 2 footnotes. imo

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    Asterik just sounds bad to most but really it just means you have to bring up the fact of the shorten season and the untimely injuries to key players. It’s not like it makes you any less of a champion.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    I don’t mind contrary opinions as long as they’re reasonable and well thought out. But if it’s stupid, then it’s stupid. Period.
    No need to get sensitive… If you didn’t make the comment then don’t sweat it.
    Anybody who insists that the shortened season is what deserves the footnote while willfully overlooking the overwhelming amount of injuries to key guys on Playoff teams and basically saying it’s no big deal is just a supremely dumb thing to say and I called it out.

  • rmij

    ditto *

  • everything

    take what phil jackson said and the context in which he said it, those asterisk talks are in fact aimed to make the spurs less of a champion. hes actually inferring that the spurs would not have been champs were it not for the shortened season.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Phil Jackson is just salty because he’ll never bet he coach Gregg Popovich is.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear


  • http://www.nba.com Red

    He’s right majority of players are hurt in the East. The Perkins, KG, Bynum thing isn’t the same those teams still had closers and all stars that were healthy.

  • EJ

    Injuries are a part of the game, and everybody had a 66 game season. Case closed, no asterisk here.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    The only people who are talking “asterisks” are people who’s teams are either knocked out or about to be knocked out. No Thunder, Heat, Spurs, Lakers or Boston fan is saying a thing for the moment.

  • everything

    the perkins thing was actually a big blow to the celtics. phil jackson never really beat the boston’s starting five when it really mattered. see how stupid that sounds?

  • http://www.offthebackboard.wordpress.com Off The Backboard

    I don’t think anyone is going to mention anything about asterisks after the playoffs are done (its going to be a great postseason), but the Bulls being out of the playoffs due to injuries while having the #1 seed pretty much green lighted the Heat to make it to the Finals. They have no threat in the East. That’s about the only thing that should be mentioned. Still don’t think the Heat beat any team from the West though so it doesn’t matter.

  • Mvp23100

    Da-meat-hook What you said I wonder if Rose was healthy and got a ring this year would Chi fans feel the same

  • http://www.slamonline.com megatron

    I think people will try say there is an asterisk now but when it looked backed upon years down the road noone will mention it or care. Bottom line, the champion is still the champion and its a helluva accomplishment.

  • bigA

    I don’t think the champion should have an asterik because the playoffs arent shortened.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    Injuries are a part of the game. At first i attributed the injuries to the shortened season but I don’t know anymore. Everyone played the same schedule, everyone had the same time off in the summer, nobody had training camp. So I really can’t put the injury blame on the schedule. Some guys were able to stay healthy, others weren’t. Like someone said, a lot of people thought Boston would have repeated had they had a healthy KG in 2009, is there and asterisk, footnote, sidebar, next to the Lakers Championship?

  • everything

    Personally, i think Chi fans can only complain and point out these asterisks if the Sixers go on and win the title.

  • 130623

    Anyone who’s actually played this game at a good level will know/understand you can only beat the team
    In front of you! You can only play the schedule drawn up! There’s no control over who gets injured when or how it happens!!’ therefore whoever wins the chip this year are the undisputed 2012 NBA champs!!!! I’m a massive HEAT fan so I hope they win it all, but let’s just hope there’s no more injuries and forget this asterix BS!!!!!!!!!!! good luck to all teams may the best one win!!! PERIOD!!!!

  • 130623

    Also it may be a shortened season, but the playoffs arent!!! Even if there was a 82 game season the same teams would be in the playoffs that are in them now!! There’s no buys cuz of the lockout! Stil gotta win 16 games to be champs! Just like always! No different means no asterix!!!!!!!

  • lakernation

    Lebron’s right a champion is a f’ing champion either way you look at it. Prior to the short season everyone knew it would be a short season…. if you did not want to play in the short season you shouldn’t of ended the lockout. These MOFOs should of been playing in the off season like lebron, dwade, kevin, CP3 and Kobe, to prepare for this short intense season. NO ASTERISK at all.

  • http://slamonline.com 1982

    There’s a long list of championships that need an * if we’re really going to do this. The Bulls won their first Piston’s series when Isiah Thomas was out. The Knicks lost to the Spurs in a shortened season without Patrick Ewing. The one’s already mentioned… Is it fair? Nothing is fair – this is sports.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    No asterisks on any championships for the most part to me. Champs are champs. They earn that prize every year.
    Side note away though lol.

  • Quincy Douby

    We’re not gonna point out that all the asterisk talk is coming from mainly Bulls fans? No? Okay. Carry on folks.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Footnoote or not, who cares? Once a champion, always a champion.

  • bull22

    if there is a trophy to be collected then there should be no asterik. i have yet to see the nba put asteriks anywhere in the books. i liked phil a great deal but it seems like he likes making these comments to overmagnify his achievements.

  • LA Huey

    I’m agreeing with both LakeShow and Bull22…That means this is as close to a fact as it gets.

  • LA Huey

    But I totally understand any homers making the claims. But Bulls fans making these claims is amusing considering the Heat punked Chicago last year and have arguably widened the gap this year.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    No D. Rose, no Joakim, first round exit for the Bulls… Yeah, that gap is clearly widened right now, for sure.
    Captain Obvious comment of the day. *starts slow clap*

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric


  • http://www.slamonline.com Red

    That’s where i disagree. If a high profiled team like the Thunder or Heat win. People will always recall that it was a weird season. The Spurs weren’t high profiled just a great TEAM. This season’s Championship will be tainted, so Idc if the Heat win this year.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Red

    And if you think that if the Thunder or Heat had a big time injury during the playoffs, you wouldn’t say that it was a shortened season you’re lying.


    Red if the heat lose 1 of the big i’ll be crying. The bench is atrocious. The heat are 27th in bench scoring this season

  • LA Huey

    If you weren’t too busy being butthurt about the Bulls’ championship hopes going up in smoke, you could’ve easily understood that the comment “arguably widened the gap this year” was assuming both Miami and Chicago at full strength.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Until they met in the Playoffs, LA Huey, I wasn’t convinced that Miami was *that* much better than Chicago and to make that general assumption borders on stupid. For you to even reference “championship hopes” in relation to the Bulls means you don’t even believe your own ridiculous statement either.
    If the gap was *that* wide, the Bulls would have no realistic championship expectations, right? Nobody would’ve said that they were the No. 1 challenger to the Heat in the East, right? That’s why they play the games, dude. Now, put the Xbox and/or PS3 controller down…

  • http://abcnews.com BigBlue

    Bulls fans might not have been convinced Miami was that much better but the rest of us pretty much all thought the Bulls probably wouldn’t have won more than one game against the Heat even with Rose. They’re too motivated this year. The Bulls wouldn’t have been lucky enough to win two games.

  • Jerome

    Listen to LeBron kissing Spurs’ a$$ … priceless.

  • house

    If the Bulls were healthy I had them winning a series against Miami. Why? Bulls seemed much more cohesive as a unit, a) their bench players were stepping up much more which helped compensate for Boozer’s tendency to disappear in tight games, and b) bench players stepping up and scoring more took more of the scoring burden off of DRose.
    Sure Miami may have the ‘big three’ but even with teh big three the Bull’s beat them while they were banged up and missing their best players.

    On a sidenote, trade Boozer for a can of coke or something…. someone please!

  • LA Huey

    Put the liquor down, buddy. It’s OK. Along with Rose’s work ethic and the power of modern medicine, I’m sure your guys will be back in contention next year.

  • http://abcnews.com BigBlue

    house, how is any of that different from last year? The Bulls’ regular season wins/record wouldn’t mean anymore this year than last year. They’re like a talented Cavs team when they had Lebron. Sure you’ll be the no1 seed, but you’ll be going home before the Finals every year.

  • http://slamonline.com neitel

    Whoever wins the ‘chip this year, deserves to bathe themselves in champagne till drunkness knocks on their door, because this has been a very difficult year for every team, and that includes the Bobcats, the ‘cats, these guys are no different than OKC or Lakers in terms of playing back to back to back games. Whoever wins it all, deserves all the applauses and confetti falling down. Deserves Respect. Mr. Stern, you gets no respect my man, you too adam silver, I aint forgot about YOU mr.!!

  • http://www.nba.com Red

    No the Bulls aren’t the same as last season. This year the Bulls were able to learn to step up without Rose. They would be in the 2nd round except Rose getting hurt ruined their focus and they didn’t rebound.

  • Clydesays

    Too many injuries to key players this season. Playing too many games with too few days off was absolutely a factor. Barkley predicted that before the season even started. The fact is that coaches treated the season differently. Look at how Doc Rivers eased into the season. Pop unapologeticly sat his stars for multiple games. Whoever wins, congrats. But this season wasn’t ‘normal’ by any means…

  • house

    @Red: exactly.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Red

    Thing is, I want to like Lebron & think he’s a good guy. But it’s hard when he’s throwing cheap screens on players, acting arrogant, has a tattoo calling himself the Chosen 1, saying he’s a king, etc. It’s hard as hell to like the guy.

  • http://abcnews.com BigBlue

    Whether or not anyone likes him should have no impact on reason. I’m confused Red. If the Bulls are a more focused team without Rose, why are they about to exit the playoffs? And how exactly was this newfound focus supposed to help them when they can’t even make it into the 2nd round? I don’t get it. How would this help them beat the Heat with Rose?

  • Weasel


  • http://www.nba.com Red

    Wtf are u talking about? The thing about not liking Lebron was irrelevant to the basis of this thread. And when did I say they have more focus without him? They become a better team with experience playing without him because it forces them to step up which they’ve done in the regular season. Some idiot will say this is the playoffs I know they couldn’t step up because they got caught up on losing Rose.


    Asterisk Shmasterisk. + your footnote will make no sence when they shorten the season next year or the one after. This season is shortened shure, so you can have a footnote there. But the playoffs are not so what u beefin about B. Crawfish ?

  • EJ

    If your guys get injured, WORK ON THEIR CONDITIONING AND STOP WHINING! It’s all a part of basketball. All teams are in the same boat, they all played a 66 games.
    And isn’t it a little premature to take away credit from Lebron’s first chamionship when he hasn’t even won it yet?

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Every thread that doesn’t have contributions from Russ Bengston needs an asterisk.

  • fish sticks

    Every team played the same number of games. And for the Bulls whiners, the Heat destroyed the bulls last year so don’t act like if they met this year the bulls woulda owned them

  • LA Huey

    Thunder, Spurs, Lakers, and Heat are still alive and strong. Plus the dark horse Celtics and Cippers are lurking. Plenty of competition still left.

  • http://juan.garcia@computershare.com Miami Joe

    This years champion shouldn’t feel any less but the asterisk is real:

    * 66 game season

  • J Blaze

    Asterisk all the way. LeBron will have to win a championship during a full season to remove that asterisk….ex: 1999 Spurs! The Spurs’ asterisk was removed after they won a full season championship!