N.B.A (New Basketball Association)
*Photo via SF Bay
You are given the choice of being the Michael Jordan of one era or the LeBron James of another. Which path does one choose? It all depends on how you look at it. Are you a fan of the blue collar, physically dominating style of past eras or do you prefer the finesse, fast pace, shot heavy present we are in current day? Only two decades past since the Jordan era and it feels like light-years from the type of basketball being viewed nationally today. Are classic NBA traditions just not traditional any longer? Big men are now relegated to pick-and-roll specialists, forwards now substitute the power aspect in the power forward position for finesse and more outside shooting, current point guards are in the top percentile of scoring on their respective teams, and the franchise superstars are entering the prime of their careers and deciding to play with other NBA stars. Is this wrong or are we as fans just simply not used to seeing this on a regular basis?
*Photo via NBA.com
Is the game suffering because of these classic rivalry games we look forward to are no longer occurring as often, due to friendships formed going back to days of AAU and early competitive basketball forums? The matchups that you can consider as rivalries are between the Clippers/Warriors and Cavs/Warriors; as opposed to previous generations which featured storied franchises like Knicks/Bulls, Pistons/Bulls, Lakers/Celtics, Heat/Celtics, Lakers/Kings, and Pistons/Heat. Today, we could have been in for the greatest rising rivalry in OKC/GSW based on that last series of this past postseason, but that’s just going to be a new re-run for Hardwood Classics. Are players the only culprits to blame for the current direction of the NBA? The series of rule changes year by year has put a significant advantage on one side of the ball. Everything from the hand-checking rule being erased, to an increased emphasis in flagrant fouls, to clear-path fouls all contributing to impact more offensive categories. So should we, as a fan base, just accept the NEW NBA or have a “back in my day” discussion at every turn. Either way it makes for entertaining conversation and I can’t wait for the headlines to start rolling in this season.