The modern era of the NBA is definitely focused on scoring more rather than defending. It's not that there are not many good defenders in this era, if we compare them to previous generations, they might be a little behind.
A huge reason for that is the fact that the current rules in the league favor attackers more than defenders. Moreover, let's be honest, nowadays most fans tune in to watch NBA games to see their favorite players score a lot of points and flaunt their attacking skill set.
Adding to it is the fact that the level of physicality has also been toned down as compared to the past. Considering all these points, most older generation players will always believe that their era is superior to the current one, at least in terms of defense.
NBA Hall of Famer and Detroit Pistons legend Isiah Thomas is certainly one of them. In a recent podcast alongside Kevin Durant, he made sure to make his point heard. The two were having a conversation about the difference in defenses between their generations and Durant threw a question at Thomas.
KD asked about how will Thomas defend lengthy and switchable defenders like Miles Bridges. To this question, Thomas pulled out facts to answer KD's question.
"So let’s keep it real and let’s be accurate, right? In the 80s, you’ve gotta remember, I came in the era when the point guards had all sized up. Everybody was Magic size. Everybody was 6’6″, 6’7″, 6’8″. So, you know, there’s Magic Johnson, Reggie Pierce, Michael Ray Richardson, Sidney Moncrief, Dennis Johnson. So they were the guys I was playing. Timeout, right?"
Thomas' facts made Durant's claim redundant as he proved that the defenders during his time had plenty of height.
Regardless of that, each era will have a few players who will stand above the rest in terms of talents. Be it Isiah Thomas's era or the current era where Kevin Durant is playing.
The podcast was pretty amazing as Thomas was an incredible guest. He also talked about the fact that Kevin Durant and LeBron James could have won the same number of championships as Michael Jordan if they used the same tactics as MJ. Now, that's a huge claim.