It’s pretty clear that basketball has come a long way since the good-old days. The league has shifted towards the perimeter, players are less physical, and the rules favor the offense more than ever. But more than that, even the players are quite different.
During the mid-90’s and until the mid 2000’s, NBA players embraced the hip-hop culture. They were elite trash-talkers, fierce competitors, and guys that would be all about that life on and off the court. Now, players are more easy-going and have even different hobbies.
That’s why Kevin Garnett believes that this great bubble experiment could have never worked on his era due to all the cursing and people walking around naked:
“To be honest y’all, we could never play in the bubble. You know how much I’ve been screaming during your shot ‘Get that sh*t out of here’? You could’ve heard me in here. Man, they’d of had a bunch of censors. Couldn’t have all these cameras, you know, players walking around naked, balls swinging all type thing. That’s a different league. We were men, yo,” Garnett told Complex.
Moreover, The Big Ticket added that players back then could have never fathomed the idea of having to walk around and see their rivals in the lobby. They’d likely get physical two days out of two, thus forcing the league to intervene:
“We out here talking to each other. We trying to figure out the pick and roll. We ain’t switching, you know, it was just totally different. It [would have] been barbaric. We could have never been in a situation like this. It would’ve been chaotic (…) It would’ve been very difficult to put my timing and the guys that I played with and against into a bubble like this and have us not be like — we was high competitors. Everybody’s competing. Everybody’s damn near fighting every other play,” Garnett continued.
Last but not least, KG opened up about how much things have changed right now. He said that coaches don’t know how much heart do you have or how big your balls are:
“We’re under a different league now,” Garnett said. “And you know what? I’m going to be honest with y’all. I’ll probably get some sh*t for this, but no trainer’s going to tell me how long I’m playing. Once I’m out here, I’m out here. If I could play, I’m playing. Y’all pay me to play, so shut the f*ck up and let me hoop. And that was the end of the discussion. There ain’t no more talking,” The Big Ticket concluded.
We’re not the ones to say that old-school basketball was better than what we have nowadays. As fans, we can’t do anything but enjoy as we watch the game evolve.