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Xavier McDaniel talks about the difference in NBA eras:'You had to be a man to play in my time'

Xavier McDaniel breaks down the difference in NBA eras
Xavier McDaniel challenging Michael Jordan in the ECF

Xavier McDaniel challenging Michael Jordan in the ECF

The NBA changes as a league every decade or so. That leads to some useful adjustments but also some that are disliked by fans and the players. Numerous NBA fans that followed basketball in the 80s or the 90s feel the game is much softer than it is right now, and players that played during those years say the same thing.

It's a different game now

Xavier McDaniel was one of those tough, old-school players that didn't back down from anybody, and that was the mentality he brought for every team he played for in his career.

During his appearance on the NYSEA sports radio, McDaniel touched upon the main difference between his era and the NBA today. McDaniel said players like Giannis, who often stare down on someone or get overly hyped after a dunk, would probably not end well if he played in the '80s. Guys like Maurice Lucas, who also had a habit of fighting, would possibly initiate something.

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“It’s a different game now. I know the kids don’t like it when we say that, but it’s the truth. Like Greek Freak, when he dunks, he stares you down, flexing. When I played, if you do that, somebody like Maurice Lucas would say next time send him my way. And Lucas would do his best to knock him out of the game. You had to be a man to play in my time.”

Xavier McDanie, via NYSEA Sports Radio

McDaniel thinks the league has changed

McDaniel said that when he was a rookie, the team's mentality was different and that the veterans themselves said fighting is a must if it means winning the game. Even though that would never fly in today's NBA, and the players themselves have changed quite a bit, the truth is things back then were very much different. McDaniel also said he got into over ten fights only in his rookie year to prove himself to his older teammates.

“When I came in as a rookie, veterans across the league would go out their way to make rookies lives a living hell on the court. So the veterans on my team told me ‘Rook, you gotta fight through that’ so, that’s what I did. I fought. I had 13,14 fights my rookie year and got fined $500 for each fight. But I wanted to send a message I wasn’t going to back down.”

Xavier McDanie, via NYSEA Sports Radio

Every NBA era is unique in its own way, and players obviously changed throughout the years. But, saying that today's players are not as tough as before is probably not true, but it's somewhat true the league might have become softer over the years. The reality is that some things are not tolerated or accepted as they once were when McDaniel played. If you introduced rules that are more similar to those when McDaniel played, most players would be able to adapt pretty soon. 


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