Cavaliers' Larry Nance says it's important for NBA to crown a champion this season

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Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance said it's important for the NBA to crown a champion in this pandemic-altered season.

Speaking on a Zoom conference call, Nance said he's cautiously optimistic about the league resuming after pausing play for two months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Although the Cavs won't be competing for a title, Nance empathizes with players who may not get to finish what they started if the league winds up scrapping the season.

"We're not in position to win a championship this year, but if I was -- if I was Giannis [Antetokounmpo], if I was LeBron [James], if I was Kawhi [Leonard] -- If I was on one of those championship-caliber teams, I'd be pretty upset about it," Nance said Tuesday. "Because it's very rare in this league that a chance like this comes along, and that's taken a valuable year off someone's career."

Nance was recently able to work out on a court for the first time since March as the Cavs reopened their training facility for players last week. He said he felt confident in returning to the floor because of the "well-regimented" health and safety measures implemented by the team.

A huge soccer fan, Nance said he has been closely monitoring the return of other leagues worldwide as potential test cases for the NBA to follow.

Nance is doing what he can to stay in shape, and he has passed some time watching "The Last Dance'' with his father, Larry, who battled Michael Jordan throughout his pro career. Nance said he and his dad have had a running debate whether Jordan was a better player than James.