May. 1, 2018

The Black Blogger Reflecting On Past Court Days

Coming from this old-schooler the brand of basketball currently being played in the NBA is RIDICULOUS. Teams are just launching 3's and the era of physicality in the league has ended. There simply isn't a place for a dominant big man in the game unless his game ranges from the 3 point line in, not from the paint and out. I mean the marquee big man players like Russell, Big Bob Lanier, Wilt, Akeem, Wes Unseld, Artis Gilmore, Dan Roundfield, Ewing, Moses Malone, Nate Thurmond, Bill Walton, Kareem, Lucas and even Shaq would have a difficult time adapting to a league that has eliminated the paint and power as the area of basketball dominance.
Today's game revolves around posted players in strategic points behind the 3 point line and playing bombs away basketball. The dynamics of the game have moved to a strategy of trading 3's for 2's. Hence, teams are looking towards shooting 40% from the 3 point and still beating teams shooting 48% from inside the 3 point line. The games may have increased scoring but increased scoring hasn't increased the visible excitement of the game.
Personally, the physical nature of yesterday's games was more exciting than the games I see today. The battles in the paint between the giants Wilt vs. Nate, Wes battling Willis, Artis vs. Big Bob, and Moses vs. Kareem. Those were the real battles, Seeing a truly dominate Bill Russell control a game while scoring only 15 points but affecting play on both ends of the court. Even guard and forward play involved more creative drives towards the basket. Not simply standing and waiting to launch 3 pointers. Although those old-timers had the capacity to hit from 27 feet.
I mean seeing Pistol Pete and Sweet Lou Hudson on the Hawks was pure magic. Seeing Earl battle Walt in the Bullet/Knick battles than joining Walt to form a perfect backcourt in the Big Apple. Seeing Bunny Baylor and Jerry West play synchronized basketball with Gail Goodrich was magical. I mean Tiny Archibald and Calvin Murphy play ball was really special. So many players. Seeing Sam Jones challenging the Big O, Chet Walker going up against Gus Johnson. I mean man to man challenges that took no prisoners. Julius Erving, whose game revolved around drives and incredible creativity while George McGinnis's game revolved around power. Spencer Haywood challenging Connie Hawkins when Denver played Phoenix, wow.
I'm not saying that today's stars aren't great because who can deny the greatness of Curry, James, Harden, Westbrook, Wall, Irving, KD, AD, Klay, and so many more. It's just the game of the past seemed to define man to man challenges of physicality has evaporated. The Bad Boy Days, the bloodied gamesmanship of Jon Starks and the Knicks playing Mike and the Bulls, and the physical relentless dominance of Moses Malone. Those were the days of glory for this old-timer. I find it hard to watch today's game for more than a quarter. Maybe it's because we were limited to a single national game of the week on ABC on Sunday. Rather than games seemingly every day via the multiple existing sports networks. Yet it does seem that overexposure has caused interest to wane. This is The Black Blogger writing on a Tuesday about the game I loved so much as a kid.