Originally Posted by BostonsAccent
There is no such thing as a weak era. 20 years from now people could be calling us a weak era. Why? Because the game has evolved. Some people call the 60's a weak era. Why? Because we know what we do about the game 40 years later. 40 years you can obtain a lot of new knowledge. The players in the 60's didn't have this knowledge, so they had to work with what they had. Which was far less than what we know now. Great players were ahead of their time which is a reason why they're good. Not because they were in a weak era, because they used their own knowledge to their advantage.
I don't like how some will disrespect the past almost entirely, but obviously all basketball eras are not equal. I've had to face this when ranking and comparing NBA players all-time, like in the ISH 100 list.
I guess you can level the field this way:
Hyothetically, if you take a player from far enough in the past, and give him the advantages of modern training, the luxeries of today, the knowledge that has been built from the past, then that player is going to be better.
Take away those modern advantages of a player today and give him the situation of the past, and he's going to be a worse player.
Anyhow, there's a lot of differences between NBA eras. Take those hypotheticals above and put players in different eras and some players might not be NBA players in another era and that includes some of today's players.
When you compare eras directly, you see that the NBA pre-Russell was weaker. The NBA when it was the BAA pre-Mikan was even weaker; they didn't even shoot free throws well back then. Basketball was a lot different before the shot clock.
Many would say that the NBA took some steps back in the 1970s. They lost a lot of talent to the ABA and league expansion made for more parity and brought in some lesser talent. Underclassmen started going pro regularly. Scoring dropped.
Scoring came back up in the 1980s, although not quite to 1960s levels. Basketball wasn't as fast-paced as it used to be but FG percentages were at an all-time high. Defense gets more physical and the league began making rules aimed against that.
Now and since the mid-90s, scoring averages have dropped to their lowest since the invention of the shot clock. The 3 pointer has become more a part of the game, but overall shooting percentages have declined significantly and offenses have been stalled to half-court sets. The traditional, dominating big man has all but faded away. And fans and GMs are looking for the next Jordan. You could make a case that this is a weak era.