The Los Angeles Lakers and Dodgers are wrongfully receiving claims of their long-awaited championships being “not legitimate.”
Professional sports and team sports in general had a very difficult time continuing play while finding the correct protocol to keep players and coaches safe from COVID-19, due to the fact that they cannot function with many people in the same place at the same time. The NBA and MLB were both in the middle of their seasons when the pandemic hit and by some miracle, were able to find a way to continue play.
In the case of the NBA, it was put in a terrible situation with COVID-19 cases when it started with Rudy Golbert and the Utah Jazz.
After a first quarantine that seemed to last forever, the NBA officials and NBAPA (Players Association) came together with an agreement that a “bubble,” where all the teams played and stayed in the same place, would be the best option to finish out the 2020 season.
The NBA was the first national sport to continue to play post-COVID, and it was an absolute success. The end of the season was reached and all that was changed was shortening the season from 82 games to 72.
The playoffs were played in full and the Los Angeles Lakers proved that they are the best team in the league, defeating the young and talented Miami Heat led by Jimmy Butler.
Even with no fans in the stands (except for the holograms), the energy was there and the play was fast-paced and intense. The champagne showers after the game were real and so is the 2020 Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.
The MLB season was stopped halfway through spring training and did not start until July 23. A 60-game season was agreed upon with the only changes being that the National and American league teams played only the teams in their division, and the teams only played other teams in the same region.
For example, teams from the NL West played other NL West teams and AL West teams to limit travel and reduce the risk of an outbreak.
The playoffs were held in a few bubbles and that method was a tremendous success. The difference between the NBA and MLB was that there were COVID-19 outbreaks amongst a few teams in the MLB. The Cardinals and Marlins had to sit out for two weeks in hotel rooms due to positive cases.
What made that situation more confusing was that both teams were in the middle of playoff runs and had to play lots of doubleheaders to end the season, which is difficult on a team that is getting ready for a playoff run.
With all that said, the season was completed. Similar to the NBA, it was fast-paced and intense to the end, with the Dodgers beating the Rays in one of the best World Series we have seen.
Everyone around the MLB and NBA worked so hard together with players and staff to make this season work, and they succeeded.
Those who are quarantined had the chance to watch fantastic basketball and baseball as a temporary escape from this tough time we are in, and it would be a shame to asterisk this season and say that it was any less than what it was.