Originally Posted by MiamiThrice
The 1990s is perhaps the most overrated era of basketball. The league was so watered down with all of the expansion teams the league was a ****ing joke. By the 00s it recovered due to all of the international talent that was previously not in the NBA and defenses improved tremendously.
There were always NBA level players on the fringes.
You make it seem like there were only 325 NBA level players back then, then the NBA suddenly expanded and they had to go to the unemployment lines to find filler to fill roster spots
99% of top level talents were all in the NBA and the players at the bottom of the spectrum are mostly interchangeable with few exeptions.
Say there are somewhere between 360 and 450 employable NBA level players today depending on rosters and injuries, those at the bottom are interchangeable, but they've always existed. Before the D-League existed, there was the CBA. Before Europe 2012 existed, Europe 1995 existed. Etc, etc. And there are even more players available that could make it into the league in any given era.
Look at the NBA draft lists from the 1980's, those lists are like 160 players deep.
NBA level talents existed outside the NBA long before expansion. All expansion did was employ them.