Over the years, the NBA has grown and evolved a lot. There is a large section that feels the game has become too ‘soft’ or lacks physicality. Legendary player Michael Jordan was part of a golden era of basketball, marked by numerous stars. The lesser known fact is that many years ago, Jordan addressed how the game is becoming less physical over time.
Michael Jordan played in a physical era of basketball
In a career spanning nearly two decades, ‘MJ’ made a name for himself as one of the greatest basketball players of his generation. He averaged over 30 points, playing for the Bulls and Wizards. However, the road wasn’t easy for Jordan. When he started off, even he was overwhelmed by the level of play and physical dominance in the game. And the Bulls icon revealed this very aspect of the league years ago.
In an interview to celebrate the launch of NBA 2K14, Jordan spoke about his initial days, the physical part of the NBA, and the reducing demands in the game off-late. “Now when I first got in the league,” claimed the now 58-year-old, “there’s a lot of tough guys at least from my perspective. Because once again I considered myself the lowest on the totem pole and I had to learn. So I looked at every experience as a learning experience.”
‘These kids don’t have a clue’: Jordan on comparisons to his generation’s physicality
As time passed, the 14-time NBA All-star got used to the level of play that the league demanded. He worked extensively on his fitness as well as skill on and off the ball. With regard to the physical comparisons between generations, Jordan quoted, “Physically it was a much more physical game than what it is today. You can walk across the lane without getting checked, or screens.”
“[In our generation] you always had to pay a price. If you were aggressive and you got an old guy and you go in, you go in with the understanding that I’m gonna get hit. I’m gonna pay the price, but you know that’s part of the game. I’m not gonna be afraid to go inside. Those are the type of things that these kids don’t even have a clue, of how we we had to grow up or how we had to play.”
Do you also believe that the game demands much lesser of the players physically? Has this according to you, given rise to better quality of basketball? Have your say in the comments.
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