The lack of Barkleys, Oakleys, Masons, Laimbeers makes today’s NBA soft
"The NBA became an All-Star Game"

The lack of Barkleys, Oakleys, Masons, Laimbeers makes today’s NBA soft

Dino’s son came to him and asked, “Dad, did you see what Luka Dončić did the other night?” “I did,” Rađa responded. “But did you?”

The young man was confused. He had just asked his father about it – why was he double-checking on him? But Dino knew what he was doing. In his mind, they both saw the same thing but were looking at it through a whole different lens.

His son saw incredible dribbling sequence, fakes no one would’ve been immune to, and a Top 10 worthy play wrap up. And Dino? Well, here’s what Dino saw:

7,8 seconds, 9 dribblings, 3 fakes, in the paint, and nobody comes for help.

Dino Rađa, 1-ON-1 with Basketball Network

In Dino’s mind, there was nothing impressive about the play. Quite the opposite — it embodied everything that’s wrong with the NBA today. Overdribbling, showing off, and facing no resistance in the paint area – none of which were a part of the game while Rađa was in the league.

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The same things can be interpreted differently by different people. That’s why cross-era comparisons can’t satisfy the objectivity criterion. It’s all in the eyes of the beholder, with no good-enough way to come up with a ranking system that would neglect the subjectivity.

At the end of the day, it’s all opinion-based, with many of the same opinions being common for a specific group of players. Rađa belongs in that 90s group, which, when criticizing the state of the league today, always brings up the lack of physicality. And fairly so. The game has changed so much. Whether for better or for worse, it’s up to each beholder. But the fact is the physicality level is at an all-time low. Guys like Dino will get frustrated by it, and his son will never understand it.

He’ll continue to admire Lukas and Irvings of the world, and understandably so. On the other hand, like many former players, his Hall of Fame dad will switch the channel once the NBA game is on. Since he played through what he would characterize as the better NBA, can you blame him?