An NBA season is a grind. A championship team can play as many as 110 games over eight months before lifting the trophy and getting that parade and civic celebration.
For Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer and many fighting for the 2019-20 title, the four-month delay due to COVID-19 and the neutral site “bubble” set-up make the grind to the top of the NBA mountain even more of a challenge and an accomplishment for the champion.
“This championship, if there is an asterisk, it’s a meaning of greater significance, greater difficulty,” Budenholzer told WTMJ’s “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News” Thursday as the NBA season re-commenced with all games being played in what is hoped to be a coronavirus-safe “bubble” situation.
“This is just going to be an incredibly special championship for whoever wins it.”
While playing without home fans and staying mostly quarantined from the outside world may not be fun for many in the NBA bubble, Budenholzer credits the league for creating a so-far COVID-19- safe environment.
“It’s very impressive what the NBA has done to create an environment where everyone feels incredibly safe…to create a positive experience,” he said.
The strangest thing in Budenholzer’s mind about the “bubble” is how often he runs into colleagues from opponents in everyday situations.
“Probably bumping into, whether it be coaches from other teams, players from other teams, staff from other teams, it’s so unusual. We usually keep our distance and don’t see each other too much, even though there’s a lot of friends and relationships throughout the league,” said Budenholzer.
As for the best part? Maybe it’s the dessert.
“They have some snacks down here. A Rice Krispie treat, a Disney-shaped Rice Krispie treat. I’ve become somewhat addicted to those.”