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The game has changed significantly over the past 20 years

aamir543
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The game has changed significantly over the past 20 years

Over the past couple days, NBATV has been showing games from the 1993 playoffs, and I've been watching games of Barkley, David Robinson, Jordan, and Dominique Wilkins, as well as the Jazz and the Sonics, and the Hornets. I've really enjoyed the style of basketball teams played back them, there was a lot more ball movement and a lot more moving without the ball.

For instance, the Suns ran perfect sets for Barkley, he'd startout on the opposite side, a guy would come over and set a cross screen, and they'd space the floor pefectly, and often time Barkley would find the cutter at the basket, I noticed that there was a lot of passing down low, and in the paint between the congestion, somthing we don't see a lot of now days, but really it happened all the time. Barkley would make his move and every single player would crash the boards.

And everytime you watch MJ, you get shivers, the game they showed was game 3 of the first round, a win and they move on, MJ sprained his ankle in the first half, had to be carried off the floor, came back, and hit several daggers to lock up the game. Dominiqe was still a dominant scorer, he looked good, but missed some key shots. David Robinson was really good as well, versatile offensive player, and a great rim protcter. And the Sonics were absolutly amazing, I was watching a game where they scored just 30 points inthe first half, and when I started watching in the second half every shot was falling, they couldn't miss, they shot 75% from the field and scored 70 points in the second half. Poor John Stockton tried so hard to will the Jazz back but the dang Sonics just wouldn't stop.

But one thing that I am sure about, guys were so much more skilled back then than they are today. Every wing player was able to put the ball ont he floor or pull up from midrange or pass it, they all had the basic skill sets but were phenomenal at what they did. there were a lot more great passes, not flashy passes, but quick passes to find the open man to catch the defense sleeping. The bigs were a lot more skilled as well. Every guy had at least a hook shot(with the exception of Mark Eaton) and bigs were very crafty around the rim. And there were a lot more teams that pushed the pace than there are today. The Suns and Warriors are/were the last teams in recent memory that push the ball up the floor with such speed after a made basket, almost every team back in those days did it. And also they spaced the floor a lot more, and there weren't as many cuckers that would only look for their own shot when they got it. Threes weren't as common, but it was still a part of the game by that point in time, and it seemed like they had better shot selection. Although we do have to keep in mind that the Three point line is a tad bit closer than it was in 93, they moved it in a couple years later.

But one thing is for sure, today's players are much more athletic, and the difference between skill and ahtleticism to me has occured in the past 5 years, and rather quickly too. So many guys come out of school early without much of a polished game, and we assume that once they come into the league that they will develop the finer aspects of their game but that is not the case. Think of how good a guy like Avery Bradley could've been if he stayed just 1 or 2 more years, he could've developed a more plished offensive game, a dribble pull-up sort of go to move, and work on getting into the lane. Until now I was a fan of the one and done rule, however now I'm having second thoughts about it. Kids are not learning how the basics of the game and just rely on athletic ability to get them through. I think that there should be a 2 year rule to stay in college, and to be quite honest, unless we're dealing with an Anthony Davis, or a Kevin Durant, they should stay 3 or 4 years. Tim Duncan may have been a really good player in 1995, but staying 2 extra years definatly helped him become a 20 and 10 guy immeadiatly in the NBA.

Watching these games made me remember that basektball was played this way even 6-7 years ago, and not that the quality is bad now, but it's just not the same. I know it'll be hard to change the rule, but I do think that players would develop different skills, although it would be agonizing to wait an extra year for hyped prospects.


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Wrong

Should stay 3 or 4 years? You ever struggle holmes? They deserve to get their money after 18.

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Bradley is better now than he would have been

He was starting year 2 at 20 years old. His mid range is way better his 3 ball way better his D sick all two years. He is ahead of schedule at 21. Cant imagine him imoroving that greatly from college coaching over Doc Rivers.

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There are tons of kids who

There are tons of kids who don't play ball who need the money, and they have to wait 4 years to get their degree, and they still juggle having a job and school, don't they? I understand what you're saying, but there are plenty of kids that have to wait to get their money that don't even get scholarships.

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So what they are not good enough

In basketball they are often enough. They deserve their money. Its unamerican IMO to say you have to wait to be wealthy. Kids born to rich families are rich early and lucky for them. When a man of 18 is good at something legal he deserves to get paid. Hate the logic of them staying.

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^But that doesn't change the

^But that doesn't change the fact that College Basektball players are already privlegded and get a full scholarship. Now I will say that I do believe college athletes should get a paid a little bit, but there are a lot of technical matters and flaws in that ideal.

I do think guys should make their money, but all I'm saying is that if guys were to stay 3-4 years they would have a more polished game rather than just relying on their god given athletic abilities.

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The difference is if the

The difference is if the students get hurt it doesn't effect their earning power, a player gets hurt and that could possibly kill their career. A player shouldn't have to stay in a place they don't want to be. As far as being more skilled which is better, playing against you're inferior teammates or against the worlds bets players in practice. Also you don't get much individual skill workouts in college because there isn't enough time (college time limits for practice) and the time they do have is for team stuff.

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Misconception#1

Todays players are more athletic.

That is something young guys with no perspective say about basketball. Name a more athletic big man than David Robinson. He would dominate Dwight Howard. As would Hakeem and Wilt for that matter. Who is more athletic than David Thompson? Or "Nique?

The truth is NBA GMs have gravitated towards more athletic players over smart basketball players, so you get Gerald Green drafted in the first round, and Brad Miller goes undrafted.

The fact is, athletes get more opportunities because their "ceiling is higher", while less athletic, but equally as good, players get sent overseas.

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The guys improve in the NBA,

The guys improve in the NBA, I think playing against better players and learning from better players helps them more than playing in college, where the is one maybe 2 nba players on the other team and 1 other one on your team max a night. The leaving of competition is terrible in college basketball compared to the nba. To me I would rather come out and get a chance to learn from a player like ray allen than be stuck going against cory joseph in practice(no offense but there is a big difference between ray allen and cory joseph). In college you need to worry about classes and then you only get a certain amount of practice time a week. The coaches in the NBA are great. I think John wall could learn a lot more from one on one instruction with sam cassell than any other coach at kentucky.

mookie
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oh yea

All college athelets need to get paid. Look at all the money colleges, and conferences make off the athletes. Companies are making money off these athletes just like they do in the NFL, NBA or any other pro sport. Theres no excuse good enough for me personally that they shouldn't get paid. They like to call people playing sports in college student athletes, but in reality they are Athlete-students!

Yeah in terms of skill, its obvious guys 20 years ago were more skilled. They had the skill to over come physical play. As a matter of fact, the rules changed to make less skilled players thrive and get fat contracts. Remember the Bad-Boys? Or the Knicks defense? Jordan was still droppin 30 a night. I dont think theres a player out there today that could drop 30 night in and night out on the defense of the late 80's and 90's. Dwight Howard wouldnt even be a top 5 center in the 90's but hes the best center today.

Another big difference between ball back then and ball now, is the passion. Now a days its all about tweeting and what they are going to wear after the game at the conference then acually playin and waht team a superstar wants to play for. More guys pay attention to tweeting than workin on their game. NBA has become way too commercialized. But I'm an addict...I cant stop!!

ItsVictorOladipo
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All college athelets need to

All college athelets need to get paid. Look at all the money colleges, and conferences make off the athletes. Companies are making money off these athletes just like they do in the NFL, NBA or any other pro sport. Theres no excuse good enough for me personally that they shouldn't get paid. They like to call people playing sports in college student athletes, but in reality they are Athlete-students!

Yeah in terms of skill, its obvious guys 20 years ago were more skilled. They had the skill to over come physical play. As a matter of fact, the rules changed to make less skilled players thrive and get fat contracts. Remember the Bad-Boys? Or the Knicks defense? Jordan was still droppin 30 a night. I dont think theres a player out there today that could drop 30 night in and night out on the defense of the late 80's and 90's. Dwight Howard wouldnt even be a top 5 center in the 90's but hes the best center today.

Another big difference between ball back then and ball now, is the passion. Now a days its all about tweeting and what they are going to wear after the game at the conference then acually playin and waht team a superstar wants to play for. More guys pay attention to tweeting than workin on their game. NBA has become way too commercialized. But I'm an addict...I cant stop!!

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  • Hell no college athletes shouldn't be getting paid. Yes theres alot of money in the business of college ball and the athletes bring in a lot of money to their schools but in exchange they get a free ride through college, get to be big shots on campus and get major exposure and training for a future career in the pros if possible. A fair trade off I think.
  • I wouldn't necessarily say players in the 90s were more skilled, they certainly had a different skill set but more skilled is certainly debatable. Guys like CP3, Tony Parker, Steve Nash, Deron Williams, Kobe, Ginobli, Durant, Anthony, Lebron, Dirk, Pau, Bosh and Duncan all would have been among the most skilled players in the league in the 90s as well.
  • Yes the defences of the 90s were very tough however scoring is actually lower right now than it was in the early 90s. In the last 5 years league scoring averages have been 96.3 PPG (albeit I'll admit this lockout shortened year was an aberration), 99.6, 100.4, 100, and 99.9. In 1990, 91, 92 and 93 league scoring was 107 PPG, 106.3, 105.3 and 105.3. The late 90s were very low scoring for sure but there have been a few tough defensive teams in the last decade as well like the Celtics, Spurs and Pistons. If Lebron, Kobe, and Durant can drop 30 night in and out on teams like that I have little doubt they'd be able to do the same on the defences of the 90s.
  • I see the point you're making but saying Dwight wouldn't be a top 5 center in the 90s is inaccurate. Hakeem, David Robinson and Shaq would undoubtedly be better but even Patrick Ewing would be a bit debateable and Dwight's better than guys like Alonzo Mourning, Brad Daugherty, Rik Smits etc. Dwight would be stronger than all the centers except Shaq, he'd be the most explosive, he'd be the best rebounder, he'd probably be the third best defender and despite all the criticism he gets on the offensive end of the floor he is a consistant 20+ PPG guy who is extremely efficient from the field (career 57.7 FG%). Yes there were more superstar centers in the 90s but the NBA has trended away from that and not just because of the dearth of talented 7 footers running around.
  • The passion is no different IMO. The players want to win just as badly as the players of yesterday. Saying that the players today have less passion is pretty funny because I remember in the early to mid 90s when people started complaining that the players just cared about doing commercials and signing shoe contracts and had less passion than the players that preceded them. People always seem to think that the previous generations worked harder than the present generation. 20 years from now people will be groaning about how all the players of 2032 are all whiny prima donnas riding their hoverboards unlike the hardworking passionate players like Lebron James, Kevin Durant and Dwight Howard in the 2010s.
mookie
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whoaaa there

Fair trade off? Billions of dollars and all they get is a scholarship? What about the guys that don't make it in the pros and colleges make money off them? You need a certain amount of talent to be competitive in college ball so colleges exploit the ones that are good enough to make their programs better but not good enough to make it to the pros. Now alot of these guys aren't into studying, which is their fault, but after their 4 years are done and colleges can't use them anymore they have no where to turn.

Yeah all the guys you named are the best in the league right now. The average player in today's game is not better than the average player in the 90s. Look how low the fg% and ft% are now compared to back then. Look at team ppg's then and now. Only the last couple years did scoring increase but in the 2000s scoring was mad low. And how many teams have balance on offense and defense? Back then teams could score 100 on tough d and also limit defensely. Lebron, Kobe and Durant wouldn't be dropping 30 a night. Like Barkley and magic said...only 3 guys would even make the '92 dream team. Its cuz the quality of play was much higher back then.

oh and there are wayyyyy more guys with commercials today then back then. You think Brandon Jennings would have a shoe if he played back then? I like him but back then he wouldn't be as known as he is in today's game.

Passion is debatable because there's no way to statistically prove it. I just look at all these guys tweeting and dressing up and doing commercials, wanting to play in bigger markets to get more exposre as a sign where its turned more into drama than ball.

And no Howard wouldn't even be a better rebounded than Dennis Rodman, barkely, in terms of talent Ewing was a better ball player, smits was a better ballet. Dwight has more athetlicsim than any of them but he's not a better ballet. Give me mourning over Howard all day. Most of these guys scoring 20+ a game under these lax rules. They didn't have zone defense back then, you could hand check, use a forearm and do whatever almost back then.

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The style of play comes down

The style of play comes down to the coaches, look at SA they have amazing ball movement and player movement.

I guess some coaches don't think that is the best way to play becuase a lot of teams don't play that way. If someone is being selfish ( or playing agains the setup) a good coach would becnh them no exceptions.

ItsVictorOladipo
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Fair trade off? Billions of

Fair trade off? Billions of dollars and all they get is a scholarship? What about the guys that don't make it in the pros and colleges make money off them? You need a certain amount of talent to be competitive in college ball so colleges exploit the ones that are good enough to make their programs better but not good enough to make it to the pros. Now alot of these guys aren't into studying, which is their fault, but after their 4 years are done and colleges can't use them anymore they have no where to turn.

Yeah all the guys you named are the best in the league right now. The average player in today's game is not better than the average player in the 90s. Look how low the fg% and ft% are now compared to back then. Look at team ppg's then and now. Only the last couple years did scoring increase but in the 2000s scoring was mad low. And how many teams have balance on offense and defense? Back then teams could score 100 on tough d and also limit defensely. Lebron, Kobe and Durant wouldn't be dropping 30 a night. Like Barkley and magic said...only 3 guys would even make the '92 dream team. Its cuz the quality of play was much higher back then.

oh and there are wayyyyy more guys with commercials today then back then. You think Brandon Jennings would have a shoe if he played back then? I like him but back then he wouldn't be as known as he is in today's game.

Passion is debatable because there's no way to statistically prove it. I just look at all these guys tweeting and dressing up and doing commercials, wanting to play in bigger markets to get more exposre as a sign where its turned more into drama than ball.

And no Howard wouldn't even be a better rebounded than Dennis Rodman, barkely, in terms of talent Ewing was a better ball player, smits was a better ballet. Dwight has more athetlicsim than any of them but he's not a better ballet. Give me mourning over Howard all day. Most of these guys scoring 20+ a game under these lax rules. They didn't have zone defense back then, you could hand check, use a forearm and do whatever almost back then.

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  • The guys that don't make it to the pro's get a free education. That's a pretty big deal. Not to mention that the revenue they generate is also what pays for the athletic facilities and coaches so they're also getting top notch coaching and training as part of the package as well. If they started paying athletes that would open up a huge can of worms. What about in other sports? Should female athletes and sports like lacrosse/soccer get paid as well, just less? Should Anthony Davis get paid more than DeAndre Liggins? College sports are amateur and should stay that way.
  • You seem to be making alot of these claims without backing them up. FG% is only slightly lower now because teams shoot more threes. Effective Field Goal percentage is actually higher in today's game and free throw percentage is on par with numbers from the early 90s. From 1990-1992 effective field goal % was 489, 487 and 487. FT% was 764, 765 and 759. From 2009-2011 (ignoring this past year cause it's a bit of an abberation) EFG% was 500, 501, and 498. FT% was 771, 759 and 763.
  • Yes scoring was mad low in the early 2000s because teams like the Pistons, Spurs etc played some tough defense. You say the 90s played tougher defense then say that scoring was extremely low in the 2000s but don't credit the defense of that era, that's some wishy washy logic.
  • Yeah Barkley and Magic said that, but they're obviously biased. If you think that only 3 guys on this years Olympic team would've made the Dream Team which featured Chris Mullin, and Christian Laettner you're mistaken.
  • You're right, passion is impossible to prove but I remember in the 90s the vast of amount of commentators who ripped on guys like Derrick Coleman, Shawn Kemp etc for a lack of passion. There's always going to be some guys in the league who lack passion and others who have plenty of it that's just human nature. Yes it does seem like there is so much drama nowadays but I feel that is more a reflection of modern media and how interconnected the world is than what is actually going on in locker rooms or in players heads and hearts.
  • I didn't say Howard was a better rebounder than Rodman...I never mentioned Rodman. I said Howard was a better rebounder than every center in the league in the 90s and he was, Mutombo being the only real challenger. Rik Smits wasn't a better baller, he was a more skilled shooter for sure but Howard can run the floor better, defend better, is a better scorer and a better rebounder and clearly the better player. Your bias is really starting to show with this one.
  • Yes it was difficult to play against opposing defenders with the hand checking rule but the elimination of illegal defense rules (as pertaining to zone defenses) has actually forced more power forwards to operate further away from the basket, has led to more dribble penetration and kicking out, big men down low passing out and more ball movement. The truth is that modern defensive rules have increased the skill and shooting ability of teams offensively.
GoJOSH HUESTIS
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It's not a fair trade off.

It's not a fair trade off. You do know that people on academic scholarships can have jobs, have people give them money and have much more free time. Billions compared to a basketball scholarship is no where near a fair trade off. NBA players get free food,gear and have people admire them so should they not get paid either? And what about the players who want to go home and visit family? They can't afford to go home and no one who ain't family can pay for them to go home

Cant compare some other sports that make no real money for the college. Does laccross or tennis make Billions for the college? Do you ever see tennis march madness or laccross march madness? What about college video games for those two sports? Millions in jersey sells? Hell the NCAA doesn't even really care when they get money from a booster but let a basketball player get a free happy meal and it's all over the news

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I don't agree with a player

I don't agree with a player staying 3-4 years or even 1-2 years, they should go when they feel their ready, school is important, but what if I tear my ACL and never be the same player and never make it to the NBA? I can always go back and get my degree if im really serious about school, I only have 5-8 years to make the NBA after I hit 18.

What if I get paralyzed in a freak accident outside of school and never make it to the NBA, people have to understand the NBA's window of you making it is VERY VERY small, you have to go when the NBA is calling you whether your 18 or 23, you should go when you feel your ready.

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Dwight Howard makes a good

Dwight Howard makes a good point. It'd be impossible to make college basketball a free market when paying their players an unregulated salary. You give everyone on the team a flat stipend or salary and the stars get mad their making the same as the non-scolarship walk on. You pay the stars more and then the big schools, who already have an advantage in recruiting, get even more and Mid-Majors all of a sudden aren't winning NCAA tourney games and the caliber of college basketball goes down due to more un-balanced teams.

If you don't like it, go to Europe. Jennings and Tyler did and they're in the NBA. No one is forced to do anything, someone does have the right as an American to make money at 18, but the NBA has the right as a company to set up rules as to who they employ.

I'm currently paying 10's of thosands of dollars for my college education, so I have hard time buying how rough student athletes have it. Everyone, unless their parents are loaded, is poor in college. Student athletes get a free education, free housing, free meal plans, and the opportunity to do things that normal students could never dream of. That opporunity is worth a salary, in my opinion. If a guy hates that deal so much or feels it's such a rip off for him...go play pro overseas or in the D-League. College isnt the only option.

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1 year rule is fine. Wouldnt

1 year rule is fine. Wouldnt want to see it increased. Too many guys prove themselves ready for the nba after one year. Cant see the argument to make them stay longer. As for going stright outta highschool, the nba gm's got tired or scouring highschool kids and its the nba's right to want to see them for one year at a higher level of comp before committing millions to them. If the kids dont want to go to college, they dont have to. They can go to the nbdl or overseas or do whatever they want. No one is forced to go to school.

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You can't choose want someone

You can't choose want someone wants to do with their life, yes College athletes are taken care of for the most part IF they get a full athletic scholarship, that doesn't have anything to do with the ones who's family is struggling back home, you can go fight in the war at 18, but can't get an NBA paycheck at 18?

There is no justification period on that rule, they should go whenever they want, like I said before you can go back to school at 40 and get a degree, but you cant make it to the league at 40, hell most people have a hard time making the NBA after 25 because scouts feel their to old, the window for a college degree is always open your dream of playing in the NBA is not, if a player tears his ACl and never makes the NBA, is the NCAA gonna give him millions of dollars in return? I don't think so.

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3 or 4 years is to long. I

3 or 4 years is to long. I like the current rule that you have to play one year out of high school before going to the NBA. Maybe I could see making them play threw their Sophomore season. But even that i think may be to long to force a player to stay in school if a team wants him. It should be up to the Scouts, GM's, and the player himself to decide if he's ready for the pro's after his freshman year.

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No way Dwight Howard is

No way Dwight Howard is better than Patrick Ewing....Ewing was a better defender, better scorer and had a nasty deposition that Howard will never posses... The only the Howard does better than Ewing is rebounding... If they played head up prime Ewing would destroy Howard... &$#%#&@! prime Ewing would be the be the best center in the league today...

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Athleticsm

Today player arent more athletically gifted then old school players,jus thing is now you have alot of player who are athletic freaks,back then you didnt have as much those atletic freaks as today but you cannot say that guys like Jordan,Pippen,Drexler,Robinson,Barkley,Kemp,Penny werent athletic as guys today

mookie
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yes sir

@dwight

Theres no question in my mind college atheletes should get paid. They generate enough money for schools that the ncaa can afford at least a stipended for them. Disburse it equally if need be. Yes some players generate more but to start, everyone should get paid. Most athletic programs generate enough money they can eliminate funding. But the difference between being a poor college student and a poor college student athlete is that a normal studnet in college can obtain a full time job and make as much as he/she wants. A college athlete is only allowed to make I believe $2000 a year. Or you know what??? If the NCAA doesn't pay student athletes, they should give more to each universty and lower tution for everyone!!!! Where do these billions of dollars go other than the NCAA pockets???

As far as stats and effective fg percentage go, this is a situation where stats dont tell the story. I'm not sure if you were around, but did you watch the defense of the Pistons and Knicks, Pacers, Bulls back in the late 80's early 90s? You'd have to see nearly see blood for a flagrant foul to be called. Watch the Bad Boys in particular. They'd nail Jordan and Pippen and if they would've called fouls back then like the way they did now, every Piston woulda fouled out in the 1st quarter. Plus there was no flopping. There wasn't that half circle inside the paint to call charges. The defensive era of the 2000s only came because of rule changes. Back in the day alot of the rules didn't exist. They make the game easier.

As far as Mullin and Laettner go, fine, they wouldnt' made the orginial Dream Team over Kobe and Lebron. Of course not, but Its hard to argue anyone else making the team.

Again athletically, the league is far superior now then back then. But there is no questioning skill and fundamentals have diminished. Also you can talk about guys like Derrick Coleman and Kenny Anderson not being passionate, but how passionate was Lebron before everyone dogged him for moving to Mia? He got his act together took it seriously and finally started to workout in the offseason, something he never did in cleveland. He even stopped tweeting during the playoffs this year. He got passionate. He wasn't as passionate before, thinking trohies will be handed to him. He worked hard and was focused and he accomplished his goal. Andre Blatche, Eddy Curry, Vince Carter, TMac are just some guys that admittedly didn't play their hardest to get what they want.

Also I am stretching it a bit with Smits being better than Howard, but Howard is a freak athlete, not exactaly a baller though. I'm for real when I say Ewing is better. I even think Mourning was better. He was unorthodox offensively but he had moves, he courld rebound and play D. Smits was definitely underrated..more skilled than Howard but no where near as athletic. So DHoward gets the edge over him.

Finally, when you say the elimination of the hand check forces more pf's to kick out and increase ball movement, it is further proof the game has lost skill. Look at Amare. He has no offense other then a face up jumper or a drive by you layup or dunk. Thats why teams can lock down on him if they want. Plus his knees are pretty much done and if he had low post moves, he'd still be a 20 ppg guy. I know melo is looked at as a ball stopper but i'm sure they could both average over 20 ppg like melo and iverson did in denver.

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I actually don't think the

I actually don't think the league has gotten that much more athletic since the mid-90s. A little, but not a ton. The guys are a little stronger because weight lifting is more common at the highschool level than when the players in the 90s were coming up. There was a shift from the 80s to the 90s as the small forward spot went from being a high skill guy who could often really shoot to a highly athletic and faster guy. The teams started dropping some of their slower players and replacing them with great athletes. But by the mid 90s I think most of that transition had happened.

The defensive rules have changed dramatically so scoring is a lot easier than it used to be. I'm fine with that. All the grabbing whenever a guy tried to dribble never struck me as the right way to play basketball. And just hitting a guy for the sake of hitting him without any intention of playing the ball shouldn't be allowed either. On the other hand, I don't like touch fouls. Teams have gotten smarter on offense and defense, but I think scoring has risen mainly because you aren't allowed to grab as much on defense as you used to.

llperez
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The biggest difference

The biggest difference athletically is the pg position. The pg position is much much faster now adays. In the early 90's guys like tim hardaway and Kevin Johnson were like freak of nature athletes where today they would just be normal. When I started watching, sedale threat was the lakers starting point, guys like mark price, Terry porter, mark Jackson, Sherman Douglas, Sam cassell, Derek Harper, David Wesley etc were all able to get by athletically but would be really slow compared to today. Also, while the elite centers were more skilled back then, there was a ton of stiffs who were nothing more then 7 foot and able to not trip while running. Sam Bowie, James edwards, Jon koncak, bill limber, Sam Perkins, olden polynice, rik smits etc... Were rarely exposed for not being athletic like they would today. Guys like David Robinson and Olajuwon looked like world class sprinters compared to every other center. Just look at the finals matchups for the bulls 6 rings, they played centers like vlade divac, Kevin duckworth, Oliver miller, Ervin Johnson and Greg ostertagg. That's why they never got exposed for having Cartwright, wennington, Perdue at center. Now, just being 7 foot doesn't cut it, you gotta be able to run and slide your feet. Definitely more athletic league today.

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Guys like David Robinson and

Guys like David Robinson and Olajuwon looked like world class sprinters compared to every other center

they ha to deal with Shaq, Jabbar, Ewing, ZO, Parish, Malone M. etc.....and we also can say today Luc Longly looking like Pau Gasol over almost evrey big man not named Duncun, Garnett, Scola and Gasol today----and those are PF.....even stiff like Luc had some nice post moves and good passing abilitys

Sam Perkins, rik smits

those 2 were not stiffs, they were far better then that....and today there are guys like Cardinal, Mbenga, Scalabrini.....what's with them and other like them?

. Just look at the finals matchups for the bulls 6 rings, they played centers like vlade divac, Kevin duckworth, Oliver miller, Ervin Johnson and Greg ostertagg.

They also hat to deal with Shaq, Zo, Pat, Dikembe, Willis etc.

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I think ur confusing skill

I think ur confusing skill with athleticism. And lol at lonely looking like gasol in today's game against anyone. He never looked gasol once in his entire career for even one game against anyone. And yes there were some very good centers besides the ones I named, but top to bottom, over half the centers in the NBA in the late 80's early 90's was a stiff athletically. Obviously the all-stars would translate to today, but were talking about the league as a whole and the center position is significantly more athletic now top to bottom.

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Definitely agree players were

Definitely agree players were more skillful 20 years ago, and players today are more athletic. However I don't feel keeping players in college longer is going to change the skill level. Players need to learn fundamental basketball skills at a young age. If players have grown up their whole lives relying more on athleticism and not focusing on skill, spending a year or two more in college isn't going to change things. They have to learn those skills at a young age.

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I think the PG spot is more

I think the PG spot is more athletic not so much because the league has gotten more athletic, just that we are in a little bit of a golden age of athletic pointguards. Westbrook, Rose and Wall are really unique athletic talents. But they are outliers.

Speaking of athletic PGs, does anyone else remember Robert Pack? A 6' 2" PG who had some great dunks.

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