As the second decade of the century closes, we reflect on the last twenty years of NBA basketball. The Los Angeles Lakers have won five Championships. Our San Antonio Spurs have won four NBA titles. Golden State and Miami Heat, three a piece. Four teams have won 75% of the rings.
LeBron James made eight straight trips to the Finals - unprecedented in the modern age of basketball.
The game has changed so much.
Can you imagine today’s version of the NBA back in the 90s? Stephen Curry, greatest shooter to ever play the game, would never have made it two seasons against defenders like the Detroit Bad Boys.
And without changes such as the the defensive three-second rule, point guards such as James Harden, who depend on their ability to drive into an open lane, would have been second string at best.
The back-to-the-basket center is a thing of the past, players like Andre Drummond are an anomaly nowadays.
But the game moves faster, it’s more exciting for the fans, and evolution of the three-ball married with the second-chance shot clock being downsized to fourteen seconds yielded an increase in scoring.
But is it the best thing for the game?
Modern medicine should show higher recovery in players and less injury. But with Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Gordon Hayward, Otto Porter, Luke Kennard, Gerald Green, Tyreke Evans, Victor Oladipo, DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Iguodala, Justise Winslow, Reggie Bullock, Skal Labissiere, Al-Farouq Aminu, Andre Roberson, Rodney Hood, Marc Gasol, Norman Powell, Pascal Siakam, Mike Conley, John Wall, and Kyrie Irving all listed is “out indefinitely” if not for the season already, are we in a better place?
What are your takeaways for the last twenty years of NBA basketball. What do you miss? Is the game better today than it was at the turn of the century?
For better or worse, the Spurs have been the only consistent in the NBA since the digits left “19” behind, which is something worth ringing in this eve.
Have a safe an wonderful night.
Happy New Year.
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