You could tell me the NBA's Orlando Bubble was 4 seasons ago or 14 seasons ago and I feel like I would believe you either way. My brain has never really been able to process how 2019-20 wasn't even really that long ago, yet it feels like another lifetime. Quarantining and Covd really fucked up my concept of time, and I imagine I'm not alone. Add in the fact that the NBA slid a quick turnaround NBA season in there once things got going again and that whole 2019-2021 period in the NBA is such a blur. What happened? Who knows.
As a result of that time, there are plenty of people out there who try and discredit the basketball we saw in the Bubble. I never really got that angle. If anything, it was as close to pure hoops as you can get. Nobody had an advantage, everyone had the same environment to work with, so go out and prove you're good enough. The games were wildly competitive as well, so I never really understood the hate. Is it because the Lakers ended up winning the title? If that's why people want to discredit their ring, I'm all for it. You don't have to twist my arm to add another fake title to the Los Angeles Lakers total, even if deep down I don't truly believe that. To me, that title counts just as much as any other.
You might also remember that on the way to the Finals, there was a pretty epic collapse by none other than the Los Angeles Clippers. They blew a 3-1 lead to the Nuggets. It was certainly not the first time we'd seen Doc Rivers or the Clippers blow a big postseason lead, only now we know why they supposedly did it via Lou Williams. Try your best not to laugh
Alright now way a goddamn minute here. Let me just make sure I heard Lou Williams correctly. After 67 days, Lou Will was ready to get out of the Bubble and as a result the entire team wasn't in it mentally for the long game? They didn't see the pot of gold at the end of the Bubble and thought that nobody would respect their ring, so they took the foot off the gas?
I'm sorry, but that is the worst excuse I think I've ever heard from a player. Last time I checked, the Clippers were up 3-1 in their 2nd round series. Mind you, that up until that point the Clippers had never even appeared in a Western Conference Finals before. I'm to believe they didn't care or weren't locked in? No, you choked. That is why you lost. You don't get to now play the "we didn't even really care, everyone wanted to go home" card after the fact. If the Clippers had won that series and won the whole thing, would we be hearing this?
Of course not!
Did they somehow stop trying once they built that 3-1 lead? That is the most insane thing I've ever heard. You had Kawhi/PG14 playing 40 minutes a night to end that series, would they do that if the Clippers quit? Nope! The truth is it didn't matter where the games were taking place, the Clippers choked. Not only that, they had double digit leads in Games 5, 6, and 7!
Instead, we're hearing Lou Will try and play it off like they actually lost because other teams wouldn't respect their title? Just saying that out loud makes me laugh every time.
Look, choking away playoff series happens. The Clippers aren't alone in that. You add in the Doc Rivers factor and it's honestly more likely that team blows a playoff series with a sizable lead than wins it. Trying to spinzone your choke job years later by trying to frame it like nobody even cared or you lost basicaly on purpose because people wouldn't respect your ring is so embarrassing I almost feel bad for Lou Will. There's no way he believes this in his heart.
You choked. It's OK. You can just admit that and move on.