The NBA Is NOT The Best It’s Ever Been
There has been a lot of talk surrounding the NBA with The Finals starting tonight, some of the most common talk is about how great the game is now. But I have to disagree, this is not the best basketball that we've ever been.
The skill of the game has deteriorated and players can get away with bad shooting, bad dribbling and bad passing because of how athletic the NBA has gotten. There's a huge difference in being an athlete and being a basketball player.
If you're quicker than the guy in front of you, but can't make a layup or shoot of the dribble, you still can make a decent living at the free throw line or finding shooters (Ricky Rubio). A guard with a decently athletic big man on the team, you can average five assists just by lofting the ball towards the rim (Jameer Nelson).
I'm not saying that NBA players don't have skill anymore, Steph Curry's ability to shoot is amazing, LeBron's passing ability is out of this world, Kyrie's handles and finishes are unreal but defenders aren't allowed to touch them.
Back in the 90's and early 2000's players had to be able to drive to the basket and finish while getting hand checked the whole way. You had to create separation for a jump shot while getting mugged. You had to be able to dribble while being pushed around and you didn't get on the floor just because you could jump out of the gym or drive to the lane without resistance.
Now if you hand check or even breathe on the ball handler it can be called a foul. Imagine if you couldn't hand check guys like Jordan, Allen Iverson or Clyde Drexler? Imagine how much more dominant guys like Shaq, Olajuwon or Ewing would've been if you couldn't have bodied them at all.
Again, I want to stress that I AM NOT SAYING CURRENT NBA PLAYERS DON'T HAVE TALENT OR SKILL. But what I want to point out is the fact that you don't have to have ridiculously skills to be in the NBA like you once did because of your athleticism. So this is not the best basketball we've ever seen, maybe the most entertaining though.