The NBA 75 ceremony was a truly incredible event. Fans got to see some of the most influential figures in NBA history, past and present, all together under one roof. Their collective presence allowed for interactions between the old and the new guard of the NBA. And one picture from the night perfectly encapsulated the evolution of the NBA over the years.
In a picture that has since garnered a lot of traction online, the NBA 75 players are split into two groups. One group sees Michael Jordan meeting with players from his era and the eras before him, like Dominique Wilkins, James Worthy, Bob McAdoo, Shaquille O'Neal, and 'Dr. J' Julius Erving.
And right behind them, we can see the more recent generation of the NBA, with stars like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, and Ray Allen. Dennis Rodman is also right next to them, as he hilariously crashed their photo opp moments before to take a picture with his fellow NBA 75 members.
The two moments captured together are a perfect snapshot of the NBA's evolution, and how different the two eras represented have been. The NBA of the past was more about size and strength. Skill was also a massive tool for players to find immense success in the league in the form of championships, MVPs, and many other accolades, but not given as much importance as size and strength were.
Whereas today, thanks to game-changing players like Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, and LeBron James, skill has become more important than it used to be in the past. These players have revolutionized the NBA and paved the way for smaller, yet more skillful guards to enter the league and find the kind of success that would have been inconceivable just a few decades ago.