The NBA, throughout its history, has seen its fair share of big-name superstars. Be it the 1970s dictated by the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the 80s by Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, the 90s by Michael Jordan, or the current decade known for players like LeBron James, these superstars represent different eras of the game.
As time has progressed, so has the game. Gone are the days when hand checking was the norm, or three-point shooting was considered a gimmick. Now perimeter shooting has become a must while hand checking has been banned altogether. Given how many changes we have seen over the years, there are often comparisons between teams from different eras.
Be it putting the current Golden State Warriors dynasty against the 90s Chicago Bulls or else, fans and pundits have been rampant about these comparisons off late. In the thick of it is Draymond Green. Green, who has never shied away from his voicing his opinion, recently claimed that Dubs could easily beat the 90s Bulls. This take has sent the NBA Twitter into frenzy. With multiple people reacting, this has been the prime topic of discussion right now.
Draymond Green certainly had a word or two about the ongoing discussion. In a recent episode of the Draymond Green show, the 2017 DPOY hosted Kyle Kuzma. Their Green had an interesting analogy between eras of basketball and AOL and the internet. (59:48 onwards):
“Can you compare AOL to high-speed internet today?”
“Just cause the internet is great, doesn’t mean AOL wasn’t great when it was being used right… why in the f***ing world can we do that with basketball?”
"You do not have to minimize Michael Jordan's greatness for LeBron James to be great."
"You don't have to minimize LeBron James greatness for Steph Curry's greatness and it pisses me off."
Green certainly has a fair point. While people might compare different eras, the truth of the matter is that the rules and the styles of play are drastically different as the eras have progressed. While a 90s fan might not be the biggest fan of the era, a modern era fan would embrace the current NBA.
Comparing eras and players just for the sake of a debate might not be the proper approach. Rather, fans should learn to respect different eras and the superstars attached to them.