Reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo believes the challenges teams will have to overcome in their pursuit of the Larry O'Brien Trophy will make this year's championship all the more meaningful, rather than adding an asterisk.
"I feel like a lot of people say that there's gonna be a star next to this championship," the Milwaukee Bucks superstar said during a conference call with reporters Wednesday, including ESPN's Eric Woodyard. "I feel like, at the end of the day, this is gonna be the toughest championship you could ever win because the circumstances are really, really tough right now. So, whoever wants it more is going to be able to go out there and take it."
It's been nearly four months since the NBA suspended its season on March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to not being able to regularly train or play five-on-five games during the league's hiatus, players will now participate in an unprecedented restart plan within a "bubble" atmosphere at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.
"I did the best job I could do trying to stay ready and trying to have my team ready for this journey that we're about to go on to leave and play games," Antetokounmpo added. "But as I said, whoever wants it more, whoever is mentally prepared for all this, what's going on in Orlando, that's the team that's gonna come out on top."
When the NBA season was put on hold, Antetokounmpo's Bucks owned the NBA's best record at 53-12. Milwaukee is also the heavy betting favorite to represent the Eastern Conference in the 2020 NBA Finals.