Larry Bird on the evolution of the game: “I’m glad I played in the 80s”

Larry Bird on the evolution of the game: “I’m glad I played in the 80s”

Basketball enthusiasts, analysts, and ex-players often engage in heated debates concerning the game’s evolution through its different eras. Each individual holds a unique perspective on how the sport has transformed over time, but one thing is certain: there’s a universal sentiment that everyone tends to favor the era they grew up with or played in.

Recently, iconic Celtics figure Larry Bird, weighed in on this topic, offering an interesting perspective that captures the essence of both epochs.

“I like the game that’s played now. I respect the players, we had our run, and this is their time, and this is how they like to play their game. They like to be coached this way. I understand all that,” Bird stated in his interview with the NBA Top Shot.

“I’m glad I played in the 80s because it was more that you could feel, and hold, and grab. The ball was pounded inside. Sometimes it’d be low scoring games, but sometimes you score 130 points. I enjoyed the 80s, but I like to watch the game now…” the Celtics legend continued.

Bird’s era, the 1980s and early 90s, was marked by a brand of basketball that was intensely physical. Big men like Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, and Karl Malone dominated the game with their sheer size and strength. In those days, the paint was a battleground, and muscles were the main offensive, but also a defensive weapon.

It’s not a critique of the players from that era for not being technically adept; rather, it was the rules that allowed for such a style of play, a notion even acknowledged by Larry Legend himself, who enjoyed the full-on contact with his foes.

Change is inevitable

Fast forward to today’s NBA, and the landscape has undergone a profound transformation. The game has shifted away from the inside dominance of traditional big men to a perimeter-oriented style. Three-point shooting has become a cornerstone of most teams’ offensive approaches, with players like Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard revolutionizing how the game is played.

In the ever-evolving world of basketball, one thing is for sure: change is inevitable. Although there is no clear-cut consensus over which era is better, we have to admit that these discussions are intriguing and frequently evoke strong feelings from the general public as well as individuals around the Association. Ultimately, who can predict what the next era holds in store for us?

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