In many areas of life, the saying goes that “old is gold”. When applied to the world of basketball, it makes us wonder how legendary figures of the past match up to the modern-day NBA players. The topic can be hugely debatable, as fans are generally motivated by their personal opinions about their favorite NBA players. Some may be die-hard fans of legendary NBA players of the past, whereas others may prefer the current breed of NBA superstars. To get a better idea, here are some important things to understand.
Rules have changed; the game has evolved – A number of new rules have been introduced in the NBA over the years. The game itself has evolved in terms of its pace and strategy. Old players may assert that they had the correct way of playing the game. However, their reasoning may not be acceptable to everyone. And it is almost impossible to determine how the earlier generation of players would have performed in present-day NBA games.
Increased competition – As compared to earlier times, the number of aspirants for NBA has increased manifold. Naturally, players now have to be a lot more skillful and results-oriented if they are to make it to the NBA. The opposing argument could be that increased competition has actually weakened the finer skills of the game. The focus now is more on scoring and getting the attention of the audience. Maybe, NBA players are now focused more on being celebrities. Difficult to determine which argument seems more logical.
Technology helping make better players? – Supporters of modern-day NBA players believe that technology is helping create better players. This seems quite true, in view of heavy tech deployments in basketball. Some examples include advanced analytics, wearable technology, anti-gravity treadmills, smart courts and cameras and virtual and augmented reality. With the help of these tools, NBA players can significantly improve their game and team work. In terms of technology, present-day NBA players definitely have an edge over past legends.
Medical advancements – In earlier times, an injury usually meant that the player had to spend several months making a full recovery. This has changed in the modern world with the availability of advanced treatment and surgical procedures. NBA players can not only recover faster, they can also have longer professional careers.
Better coaching – In the current era, basketball coaches can use technology to achieve better outcomes. For example, they can analyze rival strategies in great detail. They can then come up with an appropriate game plan to counter that strategy. Basketball coaches also have better tools to communicate their strategies to the players. It is possible that such things could be helping create better NBA players in comparison to the past.
From the above points, it appears that modern-day NBA players could actually be better than past generation players. This may be applicable across various skill sets. However, reaching a definitive conclusion does not seem possible. Past NBA legends have made tremendous contributions to the game. Moreover, such topics are more about personal choices and should be left at that.