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Old 02-16-2013, 02:45 PM   #1
jlip
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Default The "Back in my Day" Phenomenon

With the debate over Jordan's remarks regarding the players of this era and the commentary of many who grew up watching him (myself included) I figured I would find out what players of the 60's and 70's were saying about the league in the late 80's and 90's. It never fails. There is always this "back in my day" syndrome.

In this 1990 video, there is a claim that Wilt would dominate the 90's more than he dominated the 60's potentially averaging even 70ppg in a season.

In this video from 1997, Bob Costas is interviewing Russell and Chamberlain. Costas asks Wilt what a 25 year old Wilt would do in 1997 (the end of the Jordan era). He replies by saying, "You see with the new rules, which are all slanted to help the offense...Now when I get the ball instead of having two and three people and Russ all (?) me at the same time, I'm by myself with one guy. I would love it. 50 points, maybe 60 points, maybe 70 points a game... It's easier now [in 1997]."

Costas then asks Russell how the best of his Celtics' teams would compete with the best teams of the 80's and 90's. Russell replies by saying, that if they were playing in the 80's and 90's "We'd still win 11 championships. I hadn't seen a team in the last 10 years or 15 years that could beat us." That 15 year period would include the '83 Sixers, '86 Celtics, '87 Lakers, Bad Boy Pistons, and all Bulls champions from '91 to '97.

Here Walt Frazier is asked how players of his era would do in today's game, and he blatantly says that Wilt would probably average 75 points a game today. Then he proceeds to explain why he said that. So in his view the 60's and 70's had tougher rules.

Just as an added bonus in this video from the 1996 Finals Magic, Bird, Dr. J, and even the interviewer Bob Costas each insinuate that while the '96 Bulls were an all time great team, the level of competition that Jordan and the 90's Bulls faced was slightly less than the level of competition during the 80's.

In 2035, 50+ year old Kobe, Lebron, Wade, and CP3 will be telling everyone how tough it was to play "back in their day", and how they would dominate the new league.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:52 PM   #2
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Default Re: The "Back in my Day" Phenomenon

Well, the other possibility is that basketball's just gotten weaker and weaker

It's a natural phenomenon. Older players get swept up by time, such that all-stars are forgotten and all-time greats are questioned. As a reaction, they insist that, not only were they really great, they were better than whoever's playing now.

Pretty childish, but understandable. I'm already preparing my arguments for defending Lebron, Kobe, KG, Duncan, etc. against my grankids.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: The "Back in my Day" Phenomenon

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlip
With the debate over Jordan's remarks regarding the players of this era and the commentary of many who grew up watching him (myself included) I figured I would find out what players of the 60's and 70's were saying about the league in the late 80's and 90's. It never fails. There is always this "back in my day" syndrome.

In this 1990 video, there is a claim that Wilt would dominate the 90's more than he dominated the 60's potentially averaging even 70ppg in a season.

In this video from 1997, Bob Costas is interviewing Russell and Chamberlain. Costas asks Wilt what a 25 year old Wilt would do in 1997 (the end of the Jordan era). He replies by saying, "You see with the new rules, which are all slanted to help the offense...Now when I get the ball instead of having two and three people and Russ all (?) me at the same time, I'm by myself with one guy. I would love it. 50 points, maybe 60 points, maybe 70 points a game... It's easier now [in 1997]."

Costas then asks Russell how the best of his Celtics' teams would compete with the best teams of the 80's and 90's. Russell replies by saying, that if they were playing in the 80's and 90's "We'd still win 11 championships. I hadn't seen a team in the last 10 years or 15 years that could beat us." That 15 year period would include the '83 Sixers, '86 Celtics, '87 Lakers, Bad Boy Pistons, and all Bulls champions from '91 to '97.

Here Walt Frazier is asked how players of his era would do in today's game, and he blatantly says that Wilt would probably average 75 points a game today. Then he proceeds to explain why he said that. So in his view the 60's and 70's had tougher rules.

Just as an added bonus in this video from the 1996 Finals Magic, Bird, Dr. J, and even the interviewer Bob Costas each insinuate that while the '96 Bulls were an all time great team, the level of competition that Jordan and the 90's Bulls faced was slightly less than the level of competition during the 80's.

In 2035, 50+ year old Kobe, Lebron, Wade, and CP3 will be telling everyone how tough it was to play "back in their day", and how they would dominate the new league.

Good Thread and Post..
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: The "Back in my Day" Phenomenon

Repped.

Everyone thinks that their era was the best. Thus, MJ s comments arent worth anything. He says that he would average 40-50 ppg in this era, and Chamberlain was saying that he would average 75 ppg in MJ s era.
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: The "Back in my Day" Phenomenon

Yeah, everyone will make it seem like their time was the best.


All i know is that the nba in 1960 was not fully integrated yet...it was apparently 75% white and 25% black. So it probably wasn't fully integrated until 1970. So I don't see how you could try to evaluate anyone before that...i mean, the games best demographic wasn't even fully participating.
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: The "Back in my Day" Phenomenon

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlip
In 2035, 50+ year old Kobe, Lebron, Wade, and CP3 will be telling everyone how tough it was to play "back in their day", and how they would dominate the new league.
If the 2035 league consists of 50 teams filled mostly by players who went there straight after high school, than probably yes.

It's not really a phenomenon, it's just that I've seen so many amazing and unique players from the past that what modern players can do doesn't impress me at all. Flashy dunks and shooting 30% from the 3-point line sure as hell doesn't. Lebron and perhaps Dirk are exceptions. Durant? There were several SF's with similar playstile back in the 80's, most notably Dale Ellis. Rest of the league? Meh. Snoozefest.

It's not that I WANT to think that basketball of the past was more exciting, I have no agenda to defend. There is nothing I would LOVE more than to be able to stay awake during a modern basketball game.

Last edited by Kovach : 02-16-2013 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: The "Back in my Day" Phenomenon

Also, before 1970, there were less than 14 teams. Before 1966, there were less than 11 teams (my numbers might be one or two off, i quickly googled a graph of this stuff and that's what im looking at). So i mean a ring back then meant a lot less than it did after the league became a 20 + team league ( around 1980).
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: The "Back in my Day" Phenomenon

Wonder what the 35 and 40 year olds who can't let go of their childhood have to day?
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: The "Back in my Day" Phenomenon

"My era is always the best" phenomenon is as flawed as "Current era is always the best" phenomenon, so technically, Jordan could be perfectly right, and as rule changes and reffing have softened the league and allowed for more offensive displays is considered a fact and not a debate, Jordan is most probably right.
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: The "Back in my Day" Phenomenon

I vaguely remember Bill Walton (I think) telling a story about a conversation that took place back in 1996 between Wilt and MJ during the NBA at 50 celebration. Those two were having a "friendly" debate over who was greater, and Jodan mentioned something about him having a higher career scoring average that Wilt. Wilt replied with a "back in my day" comment by saying something like, "When I played they changed the rules to make it more difficult for me to score. They changed the rules to make it easier for you to score." I wish I could find the actual link or video.
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:23 PM   #11
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Default Re: The "Back in my Day" Phenomenon

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmacattack33
Also, before 1970, there were less than 14 teams. Before 1966, there were less than 11 teams (my numbers might be one or two off, i quickly googled a graph of this stuff and that's what im looking at). So i mean a ring back then meant a lot less than it did after the league became a 20 + team league ( around 1980).

OK...While I don't feel like turning this thread into an actual debate about what era was easier, I strongly disagree with the conclusion here regarding fewer teams making the road to a championship easier, and have made my case for that many times. Maybe in another thread or another time.
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:58 PM   #12
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Default Re: The "Back in my Day" Phenomenon

Quote:
Originally Posted by atljonesbro
Wonder what the 35 and 40 year olds who can't let go of their childhood have to day?
Who says we are having trouble letting our childhoods go? All I'm saying is that the great teams of the 80's and 90's could compete in today's era. Humans don't evolutionize in 30 years.

You young cats will be in our shoes soon enough when your kids and grandkids will be dismissing LBJ, Kobe, Wade, Howard, Durant etc as weak...IT WILL HAPPEN
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:01 PM   #13
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Default Re: The "Back in my Day" Phenomenon

BackInTheGoodOldDays'tards
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:49 PM   #14
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Default Re: The "Back in my Day" Phenomenon

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMan
Who says we are having trouble letting our childhoods go? All I'm saying is that the great teams of the 80's and 90's could compete in today's era. Humans don't evolutionize in 30 years.

You young cats will be in our shoes soon enough when your kids and grandkids will be dismissing LBJ, Kobe, Wade, Howard, Durant etc as weak...IT WILL HAPPEN

This
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:51 PM   #15
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Default Re: The "Back in my Day" Phenomenon

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMan
Who says we are having trouble letting our childhoods go? All I'm saying is that the great teams of the 80's and 90's could compete in today's era. Humans don't evolutionize in 30 years.

You young cats will be in our shoes soon enough when your kids and grandkids will be dismissing LBJ, Kobe, Wade, Howard, Durant etc as weak...IT WILL HAPPEN

Nope. History never repeats itself.
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