Jordan’s era was a lot tougher
One of the most heated debates among NBA fans is which era of basketball was the best and most challenging one, with everyone having their own set of arguments to back down their opinions. It’s even more interesting when former NBA players share their opinion on this topic, which Al Harrington did on the recent “I Am Athlete” podcast.
Harrington had some pretty controversial statements about the comparisons between the ’80s and the ’90s, saying it was much more brutal than the era in which LeBron achieved most of his success. The main argument Harrington used is that players back then weren’t really friends with each other, and their competitiveness was the main driving force.
“I love LeBron, but I’m going to tell you the difference between the Michael Jordan era and the LeBron James era. Michael Jordan came up in the era where everybody hated each other; they did not f**k with each other. There was no homeboys in the offseason, there was no let’s go to the clubs in the summer and holla at some chicks. There was none of that. They lived in their own bubbles, and when they played, it was a war.”
LeBron’s competition is weak?
Harrington even went that far as to say LeBron plays in a buddy-buddy era of the NBA where everybody is his “little bro.” He explains that the level of competitiveness was much higher back then, while now everybody is trying to be super friendly with LeBron.The players have lost their edge because they are so fascinated with LeBron, while back in the day, players wanted to do everything to beat Jordan or any other superstar that was the best player in the NBA.
“LeBron has dominated an era of his little bros. They are all his little bros. Everybody. What star has LeBron had it with? What team has LeBron had it with? I am not saying they don’t compete, they compete and don’t get it twisted. Ask Larry Bird what he thinks of Michael Jordan. Ask any of these stars what they think of LeBron. They’ll tell you that is my homie, hell yeah.”
Whether you agree or Harrington’s comments or not, the reality is that the league has changed dramatically in the last decade or so. The players are making more money and have the most influence they’ve ever had, but many fans complain that the overall quality of the product is not the same anymore. It’s somewhat true that the players are friendlier now than they were back in the day, but that is the thing, every generation has a specific way of handling things. So it’s impossible to measure which era was the best and most competitive, but Harrington is not the first to say something like this. Several coaches, players, and analysts said something similar already in their interviews, and there is an obvious pattern there and maybe even an answer to this popular debate.