I recently watched three NBA Documentaries that really made me miss when the NBA was king. If you get a chance check out the ESPN 30 for 30 Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The Knicks, Magic vs. Bird: A Courtship of Rivals on HBO, and then I caught a short documentary on Michael Jordan on ESPN Classic. I thought the Miller video was good but the Magic vs. Bird movie on HBO was fantastic.
Anyhow, after watching these videos about the NBA of the 80's and 90's it really made me miss it. I recently traveled up to Indianapolis to catch a Pacers game with my wife. My wife, who is not a sports fan, asked me why they did not play defense. It only took her a few minutes into the game to realize that they were not playing hard and not playing defense. The NBA has taken a different mentality, its all about scoring. Now I think some of these guys from the 80's and 90's played a role in the evolution of the game. But in the 30 for 30 video a comment from Patrick Ewing really raised my eyebrows. He said, you did not come into our lane and you did not ever get a layup. If you brought it into the lane once you wouldn't try it again. Where did that aggressive play go? What happened? Now players get to the rim at will. Not because they are better athletes but because defenders don't play that rough hard nosed defense like they used to.
I think if the NBA went back to that mentality the game could make a comeback. Right now the NBA is hanging on to their superstars like LeBron and Kobe. Highlight reels show their dunks, layups, and jumpers. But where is that aggressive defense and aggressive play? I miss it.