Magic Johnson put together his list of the top five NBA players who would succeed in Michael Jordan’s era featuring LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Gee, you think Magic? That list could keep going by the way. For a long while. And succeed? How about dominate? Because the idea that today’s stars would somehow struggle then is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.
What would the old guard do when current guys casually pull up for three from 35 feet? Or how would they handle big men who could put the ball on the floor and dribble drive into the paint? Do people not realize LeBron James is the size of Karl Malone? And that players of Kevin Durant’s height used to face away from the basket?
Sports and athletes both evolve. So, sorry, nostalgia wouldn’t be enough to lock down the Splash Brothers or stay in front of Kyrie Irving. And I don’t want to hear about a damn hand check. Don’t be ridiculous. You think Giannis or Kawhi Leonard would have a problem with somebody’s palm?
Current players have to guard the entire floor, that’s a physical strain in its own way. Long gone are the days of simply sticking to your man while watching a big man post up. Now screens need to constantly be navigated and closeouts are necessary on nearly every play. The game is more difficult than it has ever been.
I certainly do not mean this as disrespect to the older generation. I grew up in the 90s. I love those legends too. But that respect should be reciprocated. Because today’s NBA superstars belong on any list.