Former Chicago Bull, Horace Grant came on the Mully and Hanley show on 670 The Score and let it be known his feelings on the Heat’s dominance in today’s NBA.
“The Heat wouldn’t have had a chance, they wouldn’t have had a chance” Grant responded when asked if his Bulls team would have beaten the Heat, “We would have locked them up. We would have locked them up. Micheal, uh, especially with the rules today, Michael would have had a field day.”
You have heard it from all the “old school” players. The rule changes on defense, the ability to drive now days without being punished at the rim, hand checking no longer allowed, all things that some of the greats had to play through. It was a part of the game. Michael Jordan himself discussed this very issue during the NBA 2k11 release with USA Today’s Game Hunter Blog and discussed this very topic,
“It’s less physical and the rules have changed, obviously,” said Jordan of the new style NBA, “Based on these rules, if I had to play with my style of play, I’m pretty sure I would have fouled out or I would have been at the free throw line pretty often and I could have scored 100 points.”
It seems all the players from that era have a certain pride to uphold about today’s more finesse NBA, compared to the NBA of old. Where “Bad Boys” were an actual nickname for a team. It’s something media and fans constantly do. Compare the old with the knew. Who would beat who, instead enjoying each era for what it is.
Charles Barkley also touched on the subject, and defended Horace Grant’s claims:
“I agree with him. You really think they could beat Magic Johnson’s Lakers, Larry Bird’s Celtics, the Jordan-led Bulls? Not even a chance. They made David West and Roy Hibbert looks like Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain every game. They’ve got a little team. You can punish them down low. I would love to see some of those little guys try to guard me down low. I would get to the game at 2 in the afternoon.”
As a fan of the NBA since the late 80’s, I’ve seen both styles of basketball. The drag ’em out knock out games between Jordan and the Pistons. The battles in the ECF between the Bulls and the Knicks, the Reggie Miller and Jordan fight. It was what this NBA foundation was built on. The 80’s and 90’s era of the NBA should hold a certain pride when discussing their generation, especially when being compared to the current NBA style of play. It was more physical, punishing, taxing on the body, all the while needing to possess similar skill set and great teamwork in order to be crowned NBA Champions. I take nothing away from LeBron and the Heat. Let’s face it, in this NBA they are the dominant team. I give them full credit. However, put this Heat team in the Jordan era NBA, well then, a trip to the ECF would have been a successful season for LeBron and company.
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