Are we entering the Platinum Age of NBA basketball?
The Golden age of basketball is used in reference to the NBA from the mid 80's to the early 90's. The NBA saw an influx of talent as the sport was dominated by the likes of Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Isaiah Thomas (Bernard King too for any Knicks fans out there). Other stars were entering the league such as Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley and Karl Malone among others. Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen finally broke through in '91 to finally become champions and claim the 90's as their own (with a bit of Hakeem in there). This was certainly an exciting time for the league in terms of level of competition as a number of these players were competitors of the highest order.
However, I believe that we are headed for an even more exciting time in NBA history. Currently the league is dominated by the likes of Lebron James, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul each playing with a complimentary star (Wade, Westbrook, Blake Griffin). Indeed, the quality of play in the league has improved greatly since the beginning of the decade with Lebron turning into a living legend right before our eyes, and Kevin Durant managing to somehow close the gap between himself and the top player in the league at an astoundingly accelerated rate already at the age of 24. Looking ahead 3 -5 years down the road at the incoming prospects specifically those in the '14 and '15 draft classes I believe that we are headed for an even more competitive and star studded league than ever before.
The 2014 class alone as many of us already know, is loaded with talent leading the way are a couple of wings in Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, along with Julius Randle and Andrew Harrison among other talented players in this class. In 2015, we have Jahlil Okafor, Karl Towns Jr and Emmanuel Mudiay. In essence, regardless if some of these players don't pan out and become all stars this will be a very exciting time in the league with a 28 year old Durant entering what should be his prime and a 32 year old Lebron fending off the likes of Wiggins and Parker or Julius Randle. We could truly be entering the greatest time in NBA history, the Platinum Era.
Great post. I never really looked at it like that, but you are right. Even teams that didn't make the playoffs have star talent. (Kevin Love, John Wall, Kyrie Irving, etc.)
I appreciate your optimism, but I believe the league will flourish for reasons not related to "competition". As Jordan set the standard so high for players like Kobe, Lebron, Wade, etc (Win as the go-to guy), the same players mentioned will set a standard for the next generation (Win by joining forces), thus, making the competition level deteriorate and keeping oft-playoff bound teams winning and lottery bound teams, well...
Nope. Sorry, too many teams have adopted the "go-big-or-go-home" approach, meaning they are either contenders or trying to rebuild. There are too many perennially bad teams like the Kings or Bobcats and while Durant and Lebron is a nice rivalry, the odds of anyone winning outside of the Heat for at least this season and the next are pretty slim; they are too stacked with talent, too healthy and in a weak conference.
Also, there are FAR too many teams with little to no offensive structure, it's just a lot of isolation ball - coaches are getting kicked to the curb left right and centre, the players are pampered, and there have been heaps of "sure-things" who haven't panned out.
More and more teams are also going to a zone defence after the Mavs used it to stop the Heat, which means ugly basketball, and while a lot can happen in 5 years, unless the Parker/Wiggins rivalry goes just right, with both teams going to the finals repeatedly, or Durant quits the playmaking stuff, it's not going to hold a candle to the 80s/90s in terms of drama, star power and overall level of play.
Also, as far as CP3 dominating the league, he's playing great and all, but he's still got his team behind a Denver team without an All-Star, and a very old Spurs outfit.
Honestly, I'm not even sure this era is as good as the early 2000s, which had young Kobe, Vince, T-Mac, and then some great bigs with Duncan, Shaq, Garnett among others.
If the Clippers had Gregg Popovich or Scott Brooks, no way they'd be lower than 2nd seed
Talent Laden rosters are nothing new...Alot of teams back in the day, had 2 or 3 hall of famers on their rosters?
The Lakers of the 80s had Magic Johnson,Kareem and James Worthy..The Celtics of the 80's had Larry Bird,Parish, McHale and Dennis Johnson...
Aww Hell,The 1962-63 Celtics had 9 future Hall of Famers on the roster.....After the nba added some expansion teams in the late 80's and early 90s..And the influx of not ready for prime time high schoolers,some who weren't fundamentally sound came along in the late 9os & 2000s..I thinkthats when the overall talent base became weaker.....
Call me old school or ignorant, but I think this is the corrupted age of basketball in that the pride, competition, and genuiness of the league is so far down from what it used to be. Players would rather join forces with good opponents instead of BEAT those good opponents. Players are too concerned with their individual status and trick everyone into thinking they are not. Ex. LeBron is ONLY in it for himself, in that he was too much of a baby to try to win by himself in cleveland and needed help to get a ring to cement HIS status (not Wade or Bosh's status) as one of the greats. And the NBA is so unbalanced that 75% of the teams in the league have no shot at making any noise even before the season begins. Blech.
I feel you, but 95% of the teams had no shot of making it before the season even back in the 90's... MJ Babbbyy!!!!
All I have to say to this is that Magic, Bird and Jordan were playing at the same time. Kobe, LeBron and Durant aren't in that same magnitude. Also, the Bucks made the playoffs with a losing record soooo...
I'd give you +10 if I could... excellent post!
Eary 2000's was the better era imo. Shaq + Kobe Lakers, prime KG, prime Allen Iverson, prime Jason Kidd, prime Ray Allen, that Awesome Kings team with C-Webb/Bibby/Peja/Divac, prime Nash and Dirk, prime T-Mac and Vince Carter, Prime Spurs teams, Yao Ming, Stevie Francis, those great Blazers teams etc.
LOL...Some of You guys must be in your late teens or early 20s..No Way is this the Platinum Age of basketball...Guys like Lebron,Melo,Wade,Blake and Durant are doing a great job of carrying the torch....But there too many bad teams in the nba right now,some have suggested that at least 5 or 6 should shut down....And there are too many players entering the nba and not ready to contribute.....Jerry West and Red Auerbach were geniuses that outwitted other teams and brought all star caliber players to their rosters and still had competitive benches...
I don't know if it will be golden or platinum or silvery era. What is certain is that it will be more and more "foreigners nba". I'm not sure that the loss of national identity as a sport is a good thing. I'm european and the free circulation of players in football (soccer for US guys) has only created armies of mercenaries who cares less or nothing about their teams. But NBA may be a different story. I hope it will be.
Jordan made the playoffs with a record of 38-44. Don't give us the "no one made the playoffs with a losing record" back in Jordan's days. Because teams in the east did all time.
let me say it... this current generation is exciting i will tell that the future will be awesome too, but i don't agree with that the Golden era is the 80's and 90's don't get me wrong i agree with this an era where you had Bird vs Magic vs MJ vs the Bad Boys Pistons then some other teams like the Jazz, Blazers, Suns, Magic, Knicks, Rockets and Orlando Magic i don't think that will be a better era but that's not impossible, okay yes we had the Alpha dog system Bird, MJ and Magic they didn't want to join forces because they want to beat the best they didn't have the system of joining forces but let's face it all of them had hall of famers but Magic only had 2 Kareem a declining Kareem but with still a productive game and Worthy then you had MJ face it or not the first 3 peat he only had Pippen has an hall of famer the second 3 peat he had Rodman and Pippen 2 hall of famers one of them declining Rodman but that could grab rebounds better than a 20/33yr old player... Bird had 3, yes they had hall of famers, good bench and nice role players but that was the old school logic, talk about fundamentals and you will see a better team, why do you think Bird and West are one of the best GM's because they know what are they talking... if it's cool to see a Big Three why not there where always Championship teams with hall of fame players, what i don't agree is saying that MJ or etc.. etc would join forces with of course he will not do... if it's a CRIME? Of course not, it's cool to see it but Talent Wise the teams are getting worse because of that but well that's the way life is about the sport being internaciolazed i like it i think every prospect in the world should have the opportunity to be in the NBA, and let's face it if we like to see a competitive game in the NBA the same should be in the FIBA world cup or other Competitions seeing more countries playing in the same lvl of the USA that's my way of thinking
Bird had 5, one of them declining but still productive... *internationalized
Don't forget about Jamaal "Silk" Wilkes, also a Hall of Famer who played with Magic and won 4 championships with the "Show Time" Lakers.
In fact, Jordan's second year (the year he was injured) the Bulls made the playoffs with a record of 30-52. So once again, don't pull that line.
your right Reeko i forgot my bad brother
I was honestly just thinking about this the other day and I think the league is becoming more competitive w/o a doubt... there are some stars hurt like rose and rondo but the nba is filled with up coming players and along with guys like Dwight, LeBron, Durant, etc.... the future is real bright for the nba hopefully... its a star and players league
AAU programs are helping to make players better at an earlier age. It gets poor coaching basketball fathers away sooner then they had previously thereby allowing kids to be better more complete players.
i don't agree, don't get me wrong how many players on high school that where beasts and we tought wow this guy is going to be awesome or a superstar in the NBA then they play colllege basketball and you think this guy needs to work on his game then what they do? the one and done Welcome NBA i'm not that good but oh well and how many of them played together in AAU programs creating a superstar team... and i will tell you this most of the great players that made the NBA and where superstars, hall of famers, legends or whatever you wanna call them how many of them stay in college being better and getting better i made a list...
Center: Mikan- 4yrs, Russell- 3yrs, Kareem- 3yrs, Chamberlain- 2yrs, Shaq- 3yrs, Ewing- 4yrs, David Robinson- 4yrs and Hakeem- 3yrs
PF: Tim Duncan- 4yrs, Karl Malone- 3yrs, Bob Pettit- 3yrs and Charles Barkley- 3yrs, McHale- 4yrs
SF: DR.J- 3yrs, Larry Bird- 3yrs, Nique- 3yrs, Pippen- 4yrs
SG: MJ- 3yrs, Clyde Drexler- 3yrs, David Thompson- 3yrs, Bernard King- 3yrs
PG: Magic- 2yrs, Cousy- 4yrs, Big O- 3yrs, Isiah- 2yrs, Pistol- 3yrs, Payton- 4yrs, Kidd- 2yrs, Nash-4yrs, Stockton- 4yrs, West- 3yrs
this is my list i'm not saying the one and done all the players are bad because you had and you have some surprises but how many of this players my Favorites by postition by the way and i didn't put by top just random, but you can see the pattern here more time spend in college more time to work and actually learn the game of basketball
people give negatives for those "I'm not sure If even 00's was worse"
but it's not out of debate..back in the day Lakers was as dominant as Heat..their rivalries with Kings Spurs Mavs Wolves Blazers were even greater than today's West rivalries and back in the day East had more than one champion contender with Pistons Pacers Nets..
talking about stars, let's make it simple:
The Man: Shaq was just as comparable and dominant as LeBron
Superstars: Timmy could make him argument for THE MAN and he was greater than today's Durant you can say what you want
early 00's Kobe > today's Kobe
PF era at least tie with PG era (Garnett, Webber, young Dirk, Jermaine all great and on winning teams)
others: today still has Melo Wade Howard, but back in a day even after those stars mentioned there were Mr.Allen Iverson , T.McGrady , V.Carter, Pierce, Allen, Kidd, Payton, still pretty good Malone, Mourning ect..
don't get on the "today's" bangwagon the same way like SOME people thought Kobe was the best ever in 2006, or LeBron is now
I think the early 2000's were the platinum age of basketball.
I am sure the kids will neg me for this.
Ok LBJ is the best player with Durant second. This could change in the next year or two.
I would rank Dominique Wilkins even with Durant and better than Melo.
Back in the day Dominique would not be in the top 5 players in the league, he might have just been in the top 10. Jordan, Ewing, Robinson, Hakeem, Drexler, Magic, Bird, Pippen, Barkley, Malone, Isiah etc
out of those players listed Kobe, Lebron and prob Durant you could put in that list. Wade would not make it.
lebron is still good for the next few years but will then decline. Durant will be strong for a while. We can't say how good Wiggins and co will be. Harrison Barnes, Perry Jones and Austin Rivers were all projected "future all stars" before even playing a college game
i gave you +1, why? Because i agree brother
Nique was amazing 8 times top 10 in Points Per Game, 2 times in second and one time league leader, is best year on the MVP Voting was Second place
Was Dennis Rodman with the spurs... not many players have been able to pull off platinum blonde quite the way he did.
AND MORE have in common? They're all 24 and under. And all the names I named are the face of they're franchise or already once was in griffin case