As much as I love the NBA and the sport of basketball, I hate discussing it with most people.
The constant need to draw comparisons to past players drives me up the damn wall because it depreciates the talent in front of them. Basketball is different in regards to any other sport because the WINS weigh so heavily.
When we are talking about great quarterbacks in the NFL, wins are important, but the NFL is the ultimate team game. From top to bottom, if the roster isn’t good, most people won’t blame the man under center. No one denies that Dan Marino is a great quarterback despite never winning the big one.
When we talk about great shortstops, wins are damn near irrelevant because baseball relies so heavily on statistics. It’s a nerds world, hence the reason for sabermetrics and all the fancy stats. Moneyball anyone?
But then when we start talking basketball teams and players, we all know that one asshat who screams from the back of the room, “HOW MANY RINGS DOES HE HAVE?”
It is safe to say Michael Jordan is the gold standard of the NBA. He has the rings, accolades and mental makeup of what everyone seems to want in the next NBA superstar.
But good God for all that is holy, for someone who helped pave the way for young stars in regards to endorsements and viewership, he also ruined sport.
I’ll call this the “Jordan Standard.”
I don’t say that as an indictment on Jordan because it is not his fault some NBA fans have the IQ of ranch dressing.
People never acknowledge greatness happening right in front of their face whether it be a player or team.
The defending champion Golden State Warriors just notched the only 73 win season in NBA history, beating out the 95-96 Bulls when they hit 72 wins and eventually went on to become NBA champions.
All throughout the regular season, people have thrown shade to discredit what the Warriors just like they did last year when the dubs won 67 games and the NBA title. Mainly because players just are not as “tough” as they were back then.
The rules of the NBA have changed so drastically in the last 20 years and quite frankly it is ludicrous and unfair to discredit the Warriors success.
Of course almost everything you read or hear from former players, media and fans is that the Bulls would basically curb stomp the Warriors because they are SO much better defensively.
If we are adopting the rules of the 90’s where you could hand check and throw elbows without getting a flagrant, yeah you are probably right. But if we are playing with the “softer” rules of today’s NBA, Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen are going to be in foul trouble every game. Now this is the part where the folks say “oh they would change the way they play.”
Ok so the warriors wouldn’t? Got it. Because that makes sense.
Aside from the defensive rules, games were played in a slower half-court fashion in the 90s. Therefore most of the great teams were built from the inside out. Big men dominated. The mid range was the bread and butter.
There was not the run and gun you see in today’s game. Teams have to be able to get out in transition and knock down three pointers. Thus being built from outside in. We hear it all the time that it is a point guard driven league.
I can’t stress this enough. IT IS TWO DIFFERENT GAMES! So who’s rules are we playing with?
What Warriors star Stephen Curry has done over the last three seasons is unreal. The Chef has broke his single season 3 point record for the third consecutive year. Yet, people and former players still are not acknowledging how great he is on a historic level.
Former stars like Charles Barkley, Kareem Abdul-Jabar and Oscar Robertson have had no filter during interviews discrediting Curry using excuses such as coaching and hard defense.
I have news for the old school. Guys are more athletic than they have ever been and it would hilarious watching you all huff and puff your way down the court.
I remember fans of Curry asking how he could top what he did with the Warriors after last season. He answered…
In a year where the Warriors have dominated the NBA landscape, he hit 402 three pointers this season. He shot over 50% from the field and 45% from three point land averaging 30 points per game. Oh and helped his team win 73 games. There’s no doubt he is winning his second consecutive MVP award. Now we are waiting to see if he wins the hardware that seems to account for more than anything, another ring.
Unfortunately Curry has been nursing a minor knee injury for the playoffs that occurred during the first round in game 1 against the Houston Rockets. The Warriors went on to win the series 4-1.
The dubs currently lead the Portland Trailblazers 2-1 as Curry continues to heal. The Warriors next game takes place Monday night. Warriors Head Coach said that there is a “slight chance” the chef could return.
So far this playoffs, Curry has been an afterthought because of how well the Warriors are doing.
We already knew that the Warriors roster is one of the deepest and best in the league with guys like Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and last year’s finals MVP Andre Iguodala. If you didn’t know, you do now.
Before you begin to sour Curry’s name, I want you to remember something…
The Bulls won 55 games when Jordan prematurely retired. Led by Pippen, the Bulls made a respectable run sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers then falling in game 7 to the Patrick Ewing led New York Knicks.
If the Warriors go on to win the NBA Finals with Curry coming back healthy and rolling, please don’t be that guy in the back of the room who screams “YEAH BUT HOW MANY RINGS DOES HE HAVE?”
No one wants to hear it. Embrace greatness and enjoy the talent before it fades away.
You did it to Kobe, now he’s gone.
You’re still doing it to LeBron. He is getting there.
Now you’re doing it to Curry. He is just getting warmed up.
Stop before you miss it.