Basketball season is right around the corner, and I miss the good ol’ days of the NBA back in 1990’s.
Show someone that picture above and they’ll have an immediate rush of 90’s nostalgia, start coursing through their veins.
It’s weird to think that kids today may have similar reactions to this years Warriors team (who’re currently 18-0 as of this post). Golden State has a long way to go to reach the 72-10 Bulls, but they’ve got a great start.
For me, that MJ-led Bulls team was my childhood. I was a huge NBA basketball fan and I loved superstars like Michael, Shaq, Penny, Scottie, Kemp, Stockton, Barkley, etc. Quite an epic era for basketball. Prior to the 1999 lockout, the NBA was just at another level with tons of talent (old and young) and stellar hard-nosed play. The hand-check was very common in those days (since banned), and the refs would just let them go at it. Oh and there were none of these dumbass replays, so the flow of the game was much more enjoyable. In those years there were more fights and much better rivalries. I still remember some of the legendary Heat/Knicks playoff series where tempers were always on edge between Zo, Tim Hardaway, John Starks, Allen Houston, Larry Johnson, Charles Oakley, etc. That was the golden ear basketball.
The Bulls starting lineup intro remains the Greatest of All time. Everyone remembers: (sirius theme) “ANNNND NOWWWW THE STARTING LINEUP. FOR YOUR. CHICAGO BUUUUULLLLLLLLSSSSSSS!!! (ahhh)”
From 2000-2010, the NBA experienced a slight drop in talent, and a sharp decline marketable teams. They tried to push the Lebron Cavs, but he was their only star and couldn’t win a championship in Cleveland. They tried to push the studded Spurs, but they had absolutely no personality, and no reach outside of San Antonio. The Celtics built the first “super team” in 2007 but it was largely seen as a bust even though they did win a championship one season. The Lakers were always in the mix, but Kobe was very polarizing and not very likeable since the rape charges in ’03.
Today the NBA has a lot of star power, but it’s a completely different style of game. Run and Gun shooters and freak athletes are running the league now. The best player in the NBA this year is Steph Curry and he’s like 5 ft 11, and 185 lbs soaking wet. Props to him.
In a way, I feel like social media has kinda ruined the NBA. Prior to Twitter, we knew next to nothing about these players off the court. Now we get a front row seat to all the stupid shit these arrogant assholes do and say every minute of every day. It’s absolutely amazing how clueless and tone-deaf a lot of these athletes really are.
Look at MJ- people who interacted with him, knew he was a huge asshole who loved to gamble heavily and would get into fights all the time in practice. Nike was able to craft him into the perfect marketing machine and now he owns one of the biggest brands in the world. It’s amazing.
Now look at LeBron. He tries to be like Jordan, but he is just too silly to pull it off. He tweets and says dumb things which get him in trouble, and shows his true colors. Nike tries to build a brand, but everything Lebron does and says hurts his marketability. He’s still a once in a decade talent, but he’ll never be as popular as Jordan.
If you were too young to remember 1996 Bulls, or want to relive it, here’s an hour long documentary on that season for the bulls.