There is no way to quantify it, but one could argue that no generation of NBA players has faced more criticism than the players of today’s NBA. From being called soft because of how the game rules have evolved to being criticized for taking control of their legacies by ushering in the era of player empowerment, the slander today’s players face is more than any of their predecessors. However, one could argue that today’s NBA is the best we have ever seen as players’ abilities have gone through the roof.
As NBA fans, we have never seen players shoot or dribble better than those we watch today. We also see displays of athleticism like never before, coupled with increased skill and versatility; the game has never been more exciting. The players of yesteryear seem to scoff at this idea, but while many who share such sentiment still watch the game and appreciate today’s stars.
The same level of appreciation is nowhere to be found in one Dennis Rodman, 5-time NBA champion and NBA legend, who no longer considers himself a fan of the NBA.
“I don’t. When you played the game the way we did, that intensity, competitiveness. I don’t want to watch guys shoot fifty footers.”Dennis Rodman, via FULL SEND PODCAST
Rodman is, of course, referring to today’s NBA game, the one in which players have unlimited range, and a pull-up from half-court is no longer a bad shot but a make-able basket that coaches don’t mind some of their players taking. While fans of the game today marvel at the ability of players like Damian Lillard and Steph Curry to make such baskets, Dennis had just three words to describe these displays of skill.
“That’s not basketball.”Dennis Rodman, via FULL SEND PODCAST
Well, technically, it is. Extending a player’s three-point range is just as much of an evolution as the triangle offense or the rise of the point forward. It’s simply a matter of smaller players creating advantages for themselves in a game that otherwise favors size and length. Today’s game might not be exciting to Dennis and perhaps even to most fans of the NBA in the 90s, but the only constant is change, and like it or not, these changes will take place.
It’s true that many kids idolize guys like Curry and love the logo threes along with all the moves of today’s game, but that doesn’t mean that the range is just going to keep going further. The beautiful thing about change is that it’s still somewhat unpredictable even if you know it’s coming. Maybe, once this era is over and done with, the changes that take place within NBA basketball will be are those we can all appreciate because at the end of the day, our love for the game never truly changes.