Peterson: Jordan had it right about NBA
One of the most accurate statements ever made about the current National Basketball Association came from perhaps its finest player ever.
When asked how today’s NBA teams would match up against his Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan responded.
“It would probably be close for awhile, but most of us are now in our 60s.”
Whether he made the comment with tongue in cheek is moot. It’s a true statement.
Let’s face it, the game has changed drastically since Jordan was playing. Or the Boston Celtics, LA Lakers and Detroit Pistons of the same era.
There was a time when I followed the NBA pretty closely. But that was long before it became mostly a showcase of individuals looking to bolster their own images.
In other words, the players stopped thinking about teamwork and hustle — and more about their tattoos and hairdos.
Oh, there are a few who still play the game the right way.
Guys like Giannis Antetokuomnpo of Milwaukee, Nikola Jokich of Denver, Kawhi Leonard of the LA Clippers and Kevin Durant of Brooklyn and a few others.
But the game is now based on shooting three-pointers by the bushel, and dunking the ball as spectacularly as possible. The basics have all but been forgotten.
I can only imagine what a coach like the late Red Auerbach of the Celtics would say about that strategy.
There’s also a tendency today to load up with stars (much LaBron James did in Miami) to win titles.
The Nets were going the same route this year, until injuries lowered their chances.
That makes the Bucks a solid favorite to win it all with Giannis and Khris Middleton the main reasons.
But unlike past years, when a championship team usually featured several key reserves, this Milwaukee team is pretty much bereft of depth.
And that’s another reason why the NBA is just a shadow of what it once was.
Give me Larry Bird of the Celtics going up against Magic Johnson and the Lakers any day of the week.
Or the“Bad Boys” of Detroit taking on all comers.