JR SportBrief: What will the 2020 Lakers’ legacy be?

Is winning an NBA title in the bubble any more or less impressive than winning it under normal circumstances? CBS Sports Radio host JR SportBrief shares his thoughts

October 07, 2020 - 8:34 am
LeBron James Lakers

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The Los Angeles Lakers held off the Miami Heat, 102-96, in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday and are now one win away from their 17th NBA championship. 

Game 5 is Friday at 9 p.m. ET.

“Do you think the Lakers will get full credit for what they’re about to accomplish?” JR SportBrief asked on CBS Sports Radio. “Do you believe playing in this bubble has altered this victory that looks like it’s in the palm of the Lakers’ hand? Obviously I think the victory is different, but I’m not taking anything away from what they accomplished. I’m not going to say this was quote-unquote easier. If anything, there was more room for an upset – which, we’ve seen many of them. Go ask the Denver Nuggets about some upsets.”

The Nuggets overcame a 3-1 series deficit in both the first round of the playoffs, as well as the conference semifinals. The Milwaukee Bucks, who finished with the best record in the NBA, didn’t even make it to the conference finals. And the Heat are the lowest seed to reach the NBA Finals since 1999.

In other words, fans could expect the unexpected this postseason. 

“I think the Lakers deserve full credit for what they’re about to achieve – and so do the Miami Heat,” JR said. “The bubble hasn’t been easy. The bubble has been unusual. Scottie Pippen summed it up perfectly: It’s a whole lot of pickup basketball at its highest level. Open gym. What do you got?”

The Lakers have perhaps the most dynamic duo in basketball, as LeBron James and Anthony Davis combined for 50 points, 21 rebounds, 12 assists and four blocks in Game 4.

“LeBron James, he’s getting ready to pick up his fourth title, but I’m not going to take anything away from him,” JR said. “If anything, we saw anybody could get hot – and there are a lot of players that did. . . . The Lakers’ 17th championship is getting real close. At the end of the day, I don’t think people in the long run will say, ‘Well, remember they won that one in the bubble.’ It’s going to go in the books just like every other title.”