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Old 09-07-2007, 06:22 PM   #1
Kblaze8855
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Default When you really write it out and look it over...are modern players more athletic?

We always hear how much better athletes are now but lets realy looks at this....

Im not gonna use some widespread period of time to give the old guys the edge so ill pick a year. 1989. 89 vs today. Top players at each position(im counting all 2/3 players as swingmen to make it simple). Players not in order.

Isiah
Magic
Kevin Johnson
Stockton
Hardaway

vs

Nash
Kidd
Paul
Baron
Deron


Jordan
Drexler
Nique
Bird(not really a swingman but im including him to be fair)
Chris Mullin
Ron Harper
Richmond

vs

Kobe
Bron
Tmac
Melo
Pierce
Ray Allen
VC


Malone
Barkley
Chambers
Nance
Xman(bit of a combo forward but whatever)
Rodman
Mchale

vs

Duncan
Dirk
KG
Marion(counting him since I did with Mcdaniel)
Jermaine Oneal
Bosh
Brand

Hakeem
Drob
Ewing
Willis
Rony Seikaly

vs

Amare
Yao
Shaq
Camby maybe. Camby or Big Z.


Id say the current guys take one spot. The swingmen. And its not by much. maybe its really even. Jordan, Drexler, and Nique stand up to any era 3 best swingmen. I choose to give it to the new guys for depth though.

Ive heard it said its mostly because there are so many great athletes more than it being about the best being more athletic. but its not like there were not athletic role players then.


Dee Brown, Spud Webb, Muggsy Bogues(fast as hell and had about a 42-44 inch vertical), Kenny Smith(dunk contest runner up), Doc Rivers(slower than Barbosa...but not much slower). Byron Scott, Sky Walker, Gerald Wilkins, Michael Cooper, Jerome Kersey, Kemp(rookie), and Pippen(id say he was a role player in 89).

There were tons of them just like now. Where are all these super athletes?

Is Travis Outlaw really more athletic than Shawn Kemp or Larry Nance? IS any bigman the athletic equal of David Robinson or Hakeem?

When you look at it team by team...

I'll just do the central division to be quick. If you care enough you can do the rest.


Jordan
Pippen
Grant
Cartwright

Gordon
Kirk
Wallace
Deng

Id say the old team more athletic at the top. bulls have Tyrus to help out but I dont think it makes up the difference. Besides.is Thomas realy more athletic than Jordan in his athletic peak?


Isiah
Dumars
Rodman
Laimbeer
Aguirre
Salley

Billups
Rip Hamilton
Prince
Sheed
Webber
Mcdyess

Id call it about even. 5 years ago Webber, Sheed, and Dyess make it a blowout..but its not 5 years ago. Isiah, Dumars, and rodman(a very underrated athlete) stack up fine to billups, Rip, and Prince. If the modern ones have the edge its by so little it doesnt really matter.


Price
Ron Harper
Nanace
Hotrod
Daugherty

or

Snow
hughes
Bron
Gooden/Anderson
Z

Bron is the most athletic guy on either team but Nance is #2 and harper is #3. Price more athletic than Snow. Hotrod and Daugherty as athletic or more athletic than the Cavs 4/5s. Blow Z away. Id give that to 89.


Chuck Person
Reggie Miller
Smits
Schrempf
Tisdale

JO
Tinsley
Granger
Dunleavy

Gotta admit I dont know too much about the Pacers. Just not interested in them. They may have the edge there a bit but if so...its not major.


Cummings
Pressey
Moncrief
Sikma

Bogut
Redd
Bell
Mo
Bobby Simmons?

In 89 the Bucks were old. The current Bucks arent all that athletic but ill give the mthe edge if only for youth.

The Hawks arent a central team now but they were in 89 so il lcount them.

Nique
Rivers
Spud webb
Moses malone
Kevin Willis
Reggie Theus

Josh Smith
Williams
Childress
JJ
Lue maybe.

Smith vs nique is close but smith might have the edge. Rivers is more athletic than Lue, Childress, or JJ and Spud as we all know was no joke. But Williams is athletic as hell too. when I posted an old Hawks game people here were saying Kevin willis looked like Dwight Howard. I might call it a tossup. Not sure on that one. We can call the modern guys better just for the hell of it.



Anyone else not seeing much of a difference in the athletic ability of the core players?


For anyone who believes guys are much more athletic now...id realyl love to hear why. Id say modern guys are bigger. More muscles. More weight training. But really...being skinny when you are just as fast and jump as high doesnt really hurt much. On average I think 80s players might have been a tad faster with modern guys a bit stronger.

Overall I just dont see the difference. Athletic ability overall I dont think has changed in the time ive been watching. If there was a major change I suspect it happened in the 70s. but maybe I only say that because I dont remember the 70s.

From what ive seen the 77 team in Philly could match up with anyone ever as far as athletic ability. How many centers more athletic than Dawkins? And Dr.J. world B Free. George Mcginnis and Caldwell Jones were athletic.

I wonder when exactly the big change went down. I sure as hell wasnt around for it.

Last edited by Kblaze8855 : 09-07-2007 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: When you really write it out and look it over...are modern players more athletic?

Quote:
IS any bigman the athletic equal of David Robinson or Hakeem?
Plenty, they aren't nearly as good of basketball players but just from an athleticism perspective, absolutely.
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: When you really write it out and look it over...are modern players more athletic?

Don't use the stars. Stars are always freaks. Compare the average player.
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: When you really write it out and look it over...are modern players more athletic?

Travis Outlaw, Amare, and Dwight Howard are the only ones I can think of. Dan Gadzuric is in that area maybe. But combo of speed, strength, hops, and coordination I cant think of one. Outlaw jumps. Dwight jumps and is strong. Dan can jump. Run. Amare has a little of each. I dont think anyone has as much of all of them as either Hakeem or Drob. Maybe Kevin Garnett did from 95-02 or so.
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: When you really write it out and look it over...are modern players more athletic?

Add in Kersey and Pippen for the 89ers. Talking about athletic ability not overall standing as players.
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: When you really write it out and look it over...are modern players more athletic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BULLS
Funny how you are comparing 80's players(arguably the greatest ever) to today's players. Both of them were athletic.

Now the 50's-70's players to the 80's-00's players is the real comparison. The 5 worst athletes from the 80's-00's would easily average at least 15 ppg in the 50's-70's.

So the 2.3 ppg game scrub who started his NBA career in 1980 would have averaged at least 15 ppg if he had started a year earlier in 1979?
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: When you really write it out and look it over...are modern players more athletic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kblaze8855
Travis Outlaw, Amare, and Dwight Howard are the only ones I can think of. Dan Gadzuric is in that area maybe. But combo of speed, strength, hops, and coordination I cant think of one. Outlaw jumps. Dwight jumps and is strong. Dan can jump. Run. Amare has a little of each. I dont think anyone has as much of all of them as either Hakeem or Drob. Maybe Kevin Garnett did from 95-02 or so.
I don't think the real comparison should be between the stars, but the average players. Take a look at a guy like Sasha Pavlovic... a sometimes starter in a weak lineup, but incredibly athletic.
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: When you really write it out and look it over...are modern players more athletic?

Quote:
Don't use the stars. Stars are always freaks. Compare the average player.

Thats what im always told. But its easy to say the average player is more athletic because nobody knows exactly what the average player is. By the numbers....Matt Harpring I think is usually it. NBA does it yearly. I think its been Matt. Maybe Jason Richardson once. But we both know they are better than average players.

The best role players of the 80s/90s are just as athletic as role players now I believe. Thats why I listed these guys:

Quote:
Dee Brown, Spud Webb, Muggsy Bogues(fast as hell and had about a 42-44 inch vertical), Kenny Smith(dunk contest runner up), Doc Rivers(slower than Barbosa...but not much slower). Byron Scott, Sky Walker, Gerald Wilkins, Michael Cooper, Jerome Kersey, Kemp(rookie), and Pippen(id say he was a role player in 89).

Im sure there are dozens of guys we dont remember. The little no names. But not knowing them makes it hard to judge them.

What we gonna list 200 guys and compare them one by one?

Of players who matter...rotation guys...there is no real difference. I dont care enough to do a point by point breakdown of Clinton Wheeler vs Sergei Monia.
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: When you really write it out and look it over...are modern players more athletic?

Players from one generation to another do become more athletic on average. Technology improves constantly. However, as you will see by comparing athletes of different eras, the change in athletic performances throughout the 20th century is slow and gradual, in accordance with the improvement in technology, medicine, health, etc. It's not like athletes till the 80's weren't able to run 100 m below 11 or 10.5 seconds or jump above 8 metres in long jump. After the late 50's, when black men were allowed to play, the NBA was no different.
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: When you really write it out and look it over...are modern players more athletic?

Quote:
Isiah
Magic
Kevin Johnson
Stockton
Hardaway

vs

Nash
Kidd
Paul
Baron
Deron


Jordan
Drexler
Nique
Bird(not really a swingman but im including him to be fair)
Chris Mullin
Ron Harper
Richmond

vs

Kobe
Bron
Tmac
Melo
Pierce
Ray Allen
VC


Malone
Barkley
Chambers
Nance
Xman(bit of a combo forward but whatever)
Rodman
Mchale

vs

Duncan
Dirk
KG
Marion(counting him since I did with Mcdaniel)
Jermaine Oneal
Bosh
Brand

Hakeem
Drob
Ewing
Willis
Rony Seikaly

vs

Amare(not a true C)
Yao
Shaq
Camby maybe. Camby or Big Z.


If all these players were compared in the prime of their athletic peak(not career), today's players would have the most athletic player in each position category.
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:45 PM   #11
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Default Re: When you really write it out and look it over...are modern players more athletic?

Quote:
I don't think the real comparison should be between the stars, but the average players. Take a look at a guy like Sasha Pavlovic... a sometimes starter in a weak lineup, but incredibly athletic.

For every Sasha there is a Brad Sellers, Blue Edwards, Kenny Battle, Billy Thompson, Tim Perry, Harold Minor, Rex Chapman, Kendall Gill, Chris Morris, or Shelton Jones who nobody today gives a damn about. Roleplayers(for most of their careers) that were sick athletes.

But Sasha catching a reverse lob a few months ago sticks out more in peoples minds than Blew edwards throwing himself lobs on the break and windmilling it or Chris Morris dunking all over the league his first years as a Net.
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:47 PM   #12
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Default Re: When you really write it out and look it over...are modern players more athletic?

Btw,
As athletic as Clyde was, he was not on LeBron's level...

6'8" 250 pounds and maybe the fastest player, baseline to baseline in the NBA. An argument can be made that LeBron is the most physically gifted basketball player ever.
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: When you really write it out and look it over...are modern players more athletic?

Quote:
If all these players were compared in the prime of their athletic peak(not career), today's players would have the most athletic player in each position category.


If going by athletic peak....

KG was no more athletic than Kemp or Larry Nance.



Nance was basically Josh Smith.

VC was a better dunker than Jordan but I wouldnt say more athletic than Jordan in about...87. Young Shaq was not more athletic than Hakeem or Drob. Stronger but slower and less nimble. And Baron Davis was not really more athletic than Kevin Johnson. Baron may have jumped higher...but I dont think he was faster. In fact if all you care about is raw athletic ability...Nate robinson is probably the only guard more athletic than Muggsy or Spud Webb.

I just used 89 and this year so nobody had the edge as far as comparing prime to someone old. I included Bird, Magic, and Isiah who were all past their athletic peaks in 89.

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Old 09-07-2007, 06:52 PM   #14
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Default Re: When you really write it out and look it over...are modern players more athletic?

Quote:
Btw,
As athletic as Clyde was, he was not on LeBron's level...

6'8" 250 pounds and maybe the fastest player, baseline to baseline in the NBA. An argument can be made that LeBron is the most physically gifted basketball player ever.

Add 5 inches and 10 pounds and you have the same thing said of David Robinson. Drob was just disgusting in his athletic prime. Built like a statue, outrunning guards, and dunking everything even close to the basket. just by physical gifts Lebron and Shawn Kemp are probably on about the same level. Id call Lebron faster but Kemp stronger. Both jumped out gym. Similar athletes.
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:05 PM   #15
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Default Re: When you really write it out and look it over...are modern players more athletic?

Marion
Iguadola
G Wallace
JR Smith
Desmond Mason
Wade
Francis
Ricky D.
Green

I think most positions are roughly the same...but swingmen? Gonna have a tough time convincing me.
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