The debate about which was the best era of NBA basketball has been going on for quite some time. The modern NBA stars argue they are more athletic and talented, while the old heads insist they were more competitive and physical back then.
In recent times, an array of legends has shared their thoughts on the subject, but only a few select have dropped a detailed and comprehensive take on it. Among them was former New York Knicks star, John Starks.
Different era, same arsenal
As we all know, almost all teams in the modern-day NBA made the three-point line their bread and butter. Being a three-point shooter himself during his playing years, Starks is certain he would’ve also operated mostly from beyond the arc.
More importantly, Starks sees himself being a walking bucket in this era as he would’ve also made it rain from deep night after night.
“Yeah, I definitely could imagine myself doing very well in this league,” Starks told HoopsHype last year. “Back then, the three-point line was more like a knockout punch so to speak. It really wasn’t that emphasized on the game like it is now…it has become more of a weapon within today’s game, because everybody’s shooting from point guards to centers.”
It wouldn’t be a no-no
New school NBA fans may not know, but Starks was as fearless as Steph Curry when it came to shooting treys during his time. He never bothered pulling up from deep off a fast break play, sort of what he did in the pulsating regular season game between the Knicks and the Seattle Supersonics on February 21, 1997. That was probably the only gem available on YouTube, but Starks used to pull it off regularly at the time.
However, coaches didn’t like that style of playing back then, and it makes Starks even more convinced that he wouldn’t have entered uncharted territory had he played in today’s NBA.
“I know that I would have done very well in today’s game because coaches don’t frown on you for shooting the three on a one-on-five fast break,” Starks pointed out. “In my days, if I did something like that, with Pat Riley as my coach, he probably would have put me out of the game [laughs].”
While there’s no doubt Starks resembled the game of some of the most notable stars at present, it’s still hard to imagine how the old-timers would fare in today’s NBA.