Walt Frazier comments trigger my old school vs new school debate
Walt Frazier was interviewed the other day and was being asked about the heat and their streak. He said it was impressive and all but that the Miami Hear wouldn't even be a top Team if they played back in his day. First off I think these comments are ignorant and moronic for him to say. It's not like Frazier was even the best guard of his era. I usually argue with old heads about old school players vs the new age and we often disagree on players today vs the past. Frazier also went on to say lebron wouldn't be as dominant back then as he is now and that the talent in the NbA is watered down compared to the past. Again this aggravates me. It's a fact of life that man evolves and that athletes get better and better. I love how in other sports like football players are allowed to be better than their pastimes but in basketball it seems as though people never want to move on from the past and say someone can be better than a past player. I can't fault bill Russell for playing his best against the players he was allowed to play against. But at the same time I can't help but think bill Russell didn't play against anywhere near the talent NBA players from the 80s to the present played against. That same argument goes to wilt. People say o he was a freak athlete but I honestly think he was just ahead of his time. Anyway what are your thoughts guys?
Back in the early parts of the NBA there were a lot of super teams featuring multiple hall of famers, much like the Miami Heat of today. That is where his point about how the Miami Heat couldn't dominate is derived from. Also I think you shouldn't dismiss Walt Frazier's point as being "moronic" because he wasn't the "best guard of his era." He probably was the best point guard in the 70's and sans Gary Payton is the best defensive point guard ever. Today athletes are better as a group, but it is not like players back then were stiffs. A common misconception is that players back then were midgets. The centers during his era that were all 6'9+ without shoes(Dwight Howard's height) were Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Nate Thurmond, Willis Reed, Wes Unseld, Walt Bellamy, and Dave Cowens. I could also argue that the players were more spectacular back then to be that athletic without the training equipment they have today. Bill Russell, Gus Johnson, Connie Hawkins, Wilt, Baylor, and David Thompson all played around Frazier's era and they are players who would be phenomenal athletes even by today's standards.
Last point, you think that wilt was a freak athlete simply because he was ahead of this time? This video will hopefully change that perception. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwvdsi6gLl8&list=LL0ABl90kpSTl1S7i4QCATOQ
His speed, strength, stamina, and leaping ability are still things yet to be matched by a player of his size.
I couldn''t agree with you more, what would Larry Sanders have been like in the 60s? Is it possible that's what Bill Russell would be like if he played in todays NBA? I don't know it''s hard to compare from different eras and Frazier seems to be romancing the past a little too much in this case. Let's be honest though, in 15 years all of us are going to feel the same way about Lebron and he will be held in an untouchable breath.
I'm sorry but I hate when older people say the NBA was better back then,it's so obvious that the players always get better as time goes on.People are just living in the past and think that there time was better then it is now.A team like the Heat right now would destroy any team from the 60s or 70s, maybe not in the 80s because as I said before the NBA gets better has time goes on.But back to teams from now a days playing against teams from the 60s and 70s there is no way they could keep up with the shooting and athleticism of today's players.Its obvious that players are now more athletic and no era has been able to hit 3s like this one.People hate on the aau system and how it's street ball,but people don't understand that they play so much games and make them so much better playing so much.It doesn't matter if you work on your skills in the game if you don't know how to use them in the game.Ive seen people shoot better then me shooting around at 24 but once we play a pickup game they can't keep up with me in a real game.I also compared people in my high school to players that really work hard and work on there skills in the gym to someone who plays aau and also puts work in the gym but no as much as the first guy, and guess who's better.The aau player, because basketball is a game of reading and reacting that's the difference between Michael Jordan and a Jason Richardson.
Side note any one who plays high level aau(like me),I mean top prospectfrom your class and scouts every where at a tournament, knows that there really is defense played in those games and has so much speed with the guards and length from the big men,but the high level teams are stacked and are so good they make it look easy.
I do think Lebron would struggle more in the old days, people don't realise how much less physical the game has gotten and how helpless defenders are to stop dribble penetration for the most part. Yes Lebron is a great player, but I can't help but wonder if he would drive so recklessly and convert so many hard layups after a few hard fouls or against the Bad Boys era Pistons.
I don't think he's right about the Miami Heat not being a top team back in his day, because it's an insane concentration of talent on that Heat team right now, but he has a valid point about Lebron and there is no denying that this streak has to be tempered by the fact that the amount of talent is diluted so you have a bunch of teams who are rebuilding and sucking intentionally that you didn't have back in the day.
Dude have you see Lebron? He would have been one of the biggest players playing back then. There is a reason he flys to the rim untouched so much, it's because you have to sacrafice you're own well-being to try and stop him. Not many people are going to stand under a rim and try to take a charge with him flying at you.
BTW he does not drive recklessly.
Who said anything about taking charges? Hand checking is what I'm talking about here and also the occasional hard foul. When I say he drives recklessly I mean he just puts his head down and goes strong to his right with no regard for who is defending him because he can barrel through and there is no threat of him getting knocked on his ass by bigger stronger players because of the quick trigger flagrants now.
I was trying to point out it is hard to compare eras because of the introduction of the 3 point line(like you mentioned) and the rules to help scorers. To say that the heat would destroy any team in the 60's is kind of a wild conclusion because they would somehow have to agree on a set of rules. Back then you weren't allowed to palm the ball, which is why you never saw much fancy dribbling outside of pete maravich(which is amazing how he could do all of that without carrying). Also if Lebron drove to the basket they would commit the today's equivalent of a flagrant foul. If the West, Baylor, Goodrich, Wilt, Hairston, Erickson lakers played the Heat today with the rules that were still implemented in their time I might give them the game. They could barely stop Vucevic who is 6'10 barefoot, how would they stop Wilt? Even if they played with current rules Wilt would absolutely dominate because he could dunk free throws making it virtually impossible to foul him(after he did it one game they banned this).
Everytime I hear an argument like this from the oldies I just laugh. I know it's become fashionable to say that back in the day it was so much harder to score, it was more physical, Lebron wouldn't be as dominant, blah blah blah.
The truth is that it was much easier to score back then and there is no doubt in my mind that Lebron would be EVEN MORE dominant than he is now back in the day. They are just stubborn old fogies that want to hold on to their past.
Well I am not that old, I started watching basketball in the 80's. I loved basketball from an early age however so I have seen games. Why do you think scoring is so much easier back then when every foul was hard and hand checking was the norm.
How do you explain how in current times the average fg % is over significantly higher than the average fg % in the 60's?
There is no way they would be that dominant back in the 80's or 90's. I didn't watch anything from the 70's so I cannot comment.
There is little chance they would of beaten the strong 80's Lakers and Celtics teams or the Jordan Bulls era. As for toughness, Bosh is soft. Wade's body is taking its toll from all his hard fouls going to the hoop. Imagine these two going up against the Pistons Bad Boys or the Knicks Ewing, Mason, Starks and Oakley. LBJ would stand half a chance but not Bosh or Wade.
Joe Dumars and Dennis Rodman are two hall of fame defensive specialists. Rodman is one of the greatest defensive players of ALL TIME... Put them on Wade and Lebron and the Heat would quickly stall. Throw in Isiah Thomas, Vinnie Johnson, Bill Laimbeer, Mark Aguirre, Rick Mahorn, John Salley and James Edwards and you have a solid and deep, not to mention physically and mentally tough team.
See this is my problem with this argument, I agree the Heat would be very unlikely to win in the 80's, they weren't as good as them Lakers, Celtics or Pistons teams.
But in the 90's the only team better than this Heat team is the Bulls and possibly the Rockets but I still think the Heat would beat them. The Knicks struggled against the Pacers constantly a team whose best player was Reggie Miller who was surrounded by let's be fair plenty of good role players but no great ones. I cannot imagine a scenario where the Heat lose to the Knicks or Pacers.
Also why do we always say how would Lebron or Kobe do in certain era's, Are players not just a product of their time and will play how they have grown accustomed to. It is the reason that if Bill Russell played in this era where there are a lot more rules against shot blockers and defensive players, he probably wouldn't have been so effective.
The game is different today than it was even 16-17 years ago. If you throw those mid-90's Knicks teams that were championship contenders into today's game, they might get run out of the gym. Conversely, if you put the Heat into the thick of those Pacers and Knick like series, they might get eaten up physically like r377 was talking about. Teams of different eras play in different ways, so I think there is some validity to what Walt is saying. And remember, the league only had 24 teams even in the 80s. Imagine taking away even the 6 worst teams, how much valuable talent would there be available?(Just for fun, Kemba Walker, Afflalo, Vucevic, Jameer Nelson, Kyrie, Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, Calderon, Monroe, Drummond, Stuckey, Dragic, Gortat, Beasley, Cousins, Evans, Isaiah Thomas, and Marcus Thronton)
And about Chamberlain, that video really changed my perspective about him, damn he had long arms, I'd pay a lot of money to see a 25 year old Shaq against a 25 year old Wilt
I almost always defend older player because i have respect for what the did to make the game today. But its totally unfair to say that. Rules are different and the game is different. His comments are silly and impossible to say. If lebron was brought up in those times he would have played ball like they did in those times. Eras are different and extremely hard to say "he wouldnt make it" because those players learned ball in a different way, you put them back then as a kid and he learns to ball like back then.
Isaih thomas himself admitted he wouldnt be able to score like he did in todays game (sorry can't find the article). So idk Walt is entitled to his opinion. I feel like the game has evolved and so haveplayers, gametape, scouting, philosphies, defensive schemes while before it was bump and grind.
Put durant on those fast paced nuggets teams he averages 35+, lebron is blocking every fastbreak layup, Kobe eating up little guards in the post, dwight is breaking backboards every dunk, wade is eurostepping everyone leaving everyone baffled, kyrie irving is doing things that nobody even understands, kevin garnett is defending point guard, nobody can see john wall, stephon curry is shooying 25 2 pointers, tony parker is doing high arcing weird shots, every other player is dunking from the freethrowline, greg popvich is laughing, walt frazier is crying, jesus is applauding, fans are speechless, kobe shrugging, lebron is dancing and greg osens on crutches. I'm going to bed night you basketball junkies haha
I'm going to keep my response short. If LeBron played back in Frazier's time, he would have dominated. With his physical presence and now almost complete game. He would have absolutely destroyed the competition.
Lebron would have been like oscar robinson and probably got like 27 9 and 9 and maybe had a couple seasons where he averaged a triple double. Lebron didnt lift weights until a few years into his NBA career. He is literally an athletic freak. He has the quickness of a gaurd and the power of PF. He would have been a more athletic Magic Johnson and he probably would have had better players than mo williams to pass the ball to. His seven years in cleveland is what hurt him, cleveland is a crappy organization. The bulls were able to get some help for jordan, magic johnson played with hall of famers. Walt frazier played with a couple of hall of famers. Lebron is playing with one (wade), maybe two (bosh). The league wants paridy and the growth of the game means there is about the same talent per team now as there was back then, just the teams cant stack themselves.
Lebron has never had the creativity with the ball of Magic Johnson - he can pass, sure, but he doesn't have that special gift for creating that Magic and other great pass-first PGs have that elevates the play of their team-mates.
Most of the kids on this forum probably weren't even born in the 80's !!!
Over time humans have got bigger - both taller and weight wise. Look at the late 1800's or early 1900's, most people were alot shorter and skinnier.
If Lebron was born 30 years ago he would not be quite as tall or as muscular and vice versa for Walt Frazier, Oscar Robertson, Wilt, Russell etc. They would be a bit taller and more muscular. Not to mention the advancement and technology of weight programs/nutrition/supplements. And what about wearing a pair of Chuck Taylors vs a new pair of Jordan's etc
If you attempt to remove the evolution of the athlete from this argument there is no point of having the argument. People are bigger, stronger and faster now so that is what separates guys like LeBron from Oscar Robertson. If we are going to debate who the best fundamentally sound player or best shooter is that makes the athleticism irrelevant but the game today is all about being athletic.
The whole point of this thread is not to say that LeBron wouldn't be physically gifted back in the day. It's to debate whether or not he would be dominant if he did play back in the day and was still physically gifted.
Like @bruinsteve who keep saying the game was more physical back then and that lebron would get fouled flagrantly so he wouldn't be effective I don't understand this thinking. We all know the measurements. 6'8 260(ish). The man is built to take contact. Why is it that u think lebron can't adapt and play more physical? And if u think lebron would get fouled flagrantly don't think think that means he would really put his body to use and dish out more punishment? Lower the shoulde on drives a little more maybe. And he has to play defense to ate we really gonna act like he won't foul the hell out of somebody? I just can't understand the thinking behind your points