The NBA of today is interesting. There is more social media that makes the superstars of today larger than life. Compared to the NBA of yesteryear, this new NBA is different. But is it a better product than the NBA of the past?
I often wonder what would happen if the players of today played in the same era as Magic Johnson’s Lakers, Larry Bird’s Celtics and Isaiah Thomas’ Pistons. Would these players adapt to the style or would they continue to play the way that they are playing now? I wonder how LeBron would react if he took a hard foul like Lakers forward Kurt Rambis took back in the day. The game was definitely more physical back then. In this day and age, there isn’t any hand-checking. Hand-checking would allow players to use their hands to nudge and guide players where they wanted them to go defensively. No hand-checking allows players like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to go to the basket and use their speed to their advantage. Would Kobe just complain about the physicalness of the game or would he adjust? Would LeBron wolf to the officials or would he use the brawn he possesses to bully people into submission? That would be interesting to see.
Another difference in today’s game compared to yesteryear is the presence of specialists. Guys like Steve Novak, Steve Kerr and Kyle Korver are players who possess one skill: shooting the basketball. Back in the day, there weren’t any specialist. Even though players were less athletic back then, they were better all-around basketball players. But even more than that, the players back then thought the game and didn’t just play it. Bill Laimbeer could think, shoot and play defense. Vinnie “The Microwave” Johnson could play defense as well as score. More guys today just rely on athleticism or their certain skill to maintain their roster spot.
If I had a choice to watch old school or new school basketball, I would choose the old school. There was more scoring, more all-around basketball play and there was also the physical part of the game as well. You had to go hard or go home when you drove down the lane back then. Today’s game is geared more towards the offensive players, yet and still, teams struggle to score. What I wouldn’t give to see some of today’s players trying to hang in there in that type of atmosphere.
What are your thoughts sports fans? Do you like the new school basketball more than old school basketball? Let your voice be heard.