The NBA is constantly evolving, and we’re witnessing a constant trend in change in how the game is played. The NBA as a league has a rich history with a global footprint many take for granted for and according to Ron Harper, a big percentage of current players and fans don’t appreciate it enough. In his interview with HoopsHype, Harper talked about the lack of appreciation and knowledge about the legends of the game that paved the way for the younger generation that is playing right now.
Harper said he often tells his son to google the former players he just introduced him to in order to see who they were and what type of impact they had in their career. Another argument Harper wanted to make is that the league was much more competitive when he joined the NBA in the ’80s than it is now.
They don’t know the history. They just don’t know. They don’t understand it.
Every time I bring my son somewhere, and he meets one of the guys [who played in the NBA], I tell him to pull out his iPhone and Google him. I want him to see how good these former players were and what they accomplished.
Also, with today’s players, it’s all about what they do. It’s not about what the team does. When I came into the league, we had maybe six, seven, or eight teams that could win the championship. Now, there are only two-to-four teams who have a shot, and you know exactly who they are.Ron Harper, via HoopsHype
Even though all this may sound like Harper is just another old-school player who is simply hating on the younger generation, he is still a big fan of the game. Harper still watches a lot of NBA and has several players that he watches more frequently than others.
I’d say Bradley Beal. He’s a fantastic player – a fantastic scorer – who doesn’t get enough credit for what he can do on the defensive end too. Trevor Ariza is another player who I like to watch. Devin Booker is a great young player. Giannis Antetokounmpo is such a fun player to watch. Nobody was really thinking about this Milwaukee team like that; they surprised everybody and they’re scary. Paul George is having a fantastic year. Russell Westbrook is who he is – he’s just going to go out there and give you absolutely everything that he has. Kyle Kuzma is a young guy who I like to watch. I love watching LeBron James. I love watching Kyrie Irving. If Victor Oladipo didn’t get hurt, the Pacers may have had a shot to be there [in the NBA Finals]. There are a lot of great players around the NBA these days.Ron Harper, via HoopsHype
Harper actually made a great point saying many fans and younger players in the NBA don’t know about the players who played before them and their impact. It’s now easier than ever through the internet to look at what certain players did in their respective careers and how they are equal, if not even better, than some of the NBA players today.