Sunday, March 9, 2014

Is the NBA 'Back to the Future?'

I know Marty McFly didn't play the sport of basketball, but I can guarantee if he walked into an NBA conversation about Kevin Durant and LeBron James, he would tell you about Larry Bird and Magic Johnson... the conversation may last another 30 years.

It's been about that long since the classic movie with Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd was created and in the mid 80's the NBA was in the middle of large reconstruction phase with where the image of the sport laid across the american landscape. NBA players were relatively lanky, lacked incredible athleticism, and style of the game didn't have the pzazz it has today, but their was Magic, a Bird, Airness, and a new commissioner to bring about the future that the NBA leads today.

How is that story any different than what 2014 is today, especially with how the MVP race is being watched in the NBA this season? Kevin Durant has been the best player all season and the 4 time MVP in LeBron James is starting to make his mark at a 5th after a 61 point performance at the beginning of this month. These are clearly the two best players in the league and the way they model their game is scary similar to those of their predecessors. Kevin Durant even admitted he models his game after Larry Bird, and LeBron has mentioned several times he wants to play more like Magic Johnson than Michael Jordan.

Granted the impact of Magic and Bird will never be matched in the civil rights department like it did in the 80's, but style of play and the importance both players have on the image of the league is very similar and almost mirror like. If you want to be even more scary with the mirror image of great players of the mid 80's to the now mid 2010's, Kobe is the current Airness in the way Michael Jordan played the game. Granted, Kobe has been hurt this season, but his career is very similar to Michael's style of play in the 1980's which was score, score, and score some more.

Isn't it strange how the similarities are starting to take shape here about 30 years later, or about 2 generations later in terms of classes in the NBA with how the superstars of the NBA are molding themselves? Shouldn't it show us that the way the NBA has been managed over the last 30+ years has been working with the success and luck the NBA has had over that time frame. It is truly remarkable.

I have one more comparison for you before you head off into your college basketball dungeon for the next couple of weeks, think about Tim Duncan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar...

Just saying, the similarities are scary.

See you next week, and happy championship week. Next week will be the NCAA Bracket prediction from yours truly!

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