The NBA is continually evolving and changing, and the game itself is a lot different than ten years ago, let alone 20 or more. In a recent interview, the former all-star and a legendary player from the 90’s Shawn Kemp, talked about his perception of today’s NBA and how it’s different than the era he played in with the Seattle Supersonics.
Kemp is not one of those old school players who are salty and exclusively disrespects the new generation of players and basketball is played today. He recognizes the difference in playing style and is still a big fan of the NBA, even though it changed quite a bit since he played in the ’90s and early ’00s.
The main difference Kemp sees is that the NBA back in the day was more physical and players talked more trash, and nobody was afraid to get in a confrontation with opposing players. On the other hand, his opinion is that players are more skilled today, especially in shooting and ball handling. Because of advanced medicine and nutrition, their careers are also longer and, they can play more minutes.
“I think the game is great today. I don’t think the players don’t get the credit. For one, the game was more physical, and when you watch the old NBA, one thing is for sure, you will see more fights, a little more talking, bigger guys, bigger bodies. I think today’s game is like a Ferrari or a Porsche. These guys are really fast, and they are long and lengthy and durable. The way they are shooting the ball is much better than we could ever imagine these days, and just the overall spirit in today’s game is growing.”Shawn Kemp, via What’s The Skinny
Many older players still have a lot of resentment towards the NBA and its players today, saying it’s no longer watchable or something worse. Kemp is one of the rare older players that is very realistic and acknowledges the good and the bad and is still a big fan of the game. He is on point when it comes to the main differences in how the game is played now and how it was played back in the ’90s. When Kemp and the Supersonics were one of the hottest teams in the league, things were way different, and fans feel nostalgic about those times; however, there should be more appreciation of how the league and its players evolved in the meantime.