Phil Jackson was once quoted as saying that the 1999 champion San Antonio Spurs deserve an asterisk due to the circumstances surrounding their shortened season.
As many of you know, the 1998-1999 NBA season also had a lockout. That's also the season that ended up starting a dynasty for Tim Duncan and the Spurs.
LeBron James strongly disagrees with Jackson's take.
"I don't think that's right to say," James told Brian Windhorst of ESPN. "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."
With injuries to guys like Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard -- which obviously hurts their teams -- the Miami Heat are easily the favorites to win in the Eastern Conference. If the Heat do win it all this year, they don't want have any comments like Jackson has offered.
"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."
It has been a different season, however, for most players. Some came in out-of-shape or not playing like they did the previous year.
"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."
The Heat are looking to close out the New York Knicks on Sunday in Game 4.
Josh Dhani is the founder of FootBasket. He also contributes at Hoops Authority and Eight Points Nine Seconds. You can read more about him at his website. Follow him on Twitter @joshdhani.
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