Is there anything better than comparing players and teams from different eras when the NBA offseason is heating up and we need something to discuss? Of course not. Luckily, Charles Barkley gave us a great interview on The Dan Patrick Show, sharing, among other things, why Stephen Curry couldn’t hold on to the old school era of NBA basketball.
Draymond Green recently made headlines when he concluded that the 2017 Warriors team would beat the 1998 Bulls as it sparked debates over which team was better. Many agreed that the difference in how the game was played then and now makes it impossible to choose the right choice, but it sparked other conversations as well.
Dan Patrick asked Charles Barkley what he thought of Draymond’s statement, and the “Chuckster” used Curry as an example of why comparing eras is pointless:
Scroll to continue
“I love what the Warriors do. Those little bodies they have, they wouldn’t last in the 70s and 80s. You know how much I love Steph Curry? You think he could handle Michael having beat the Bad Boys Pistons? Come on, Dan. Please stop. I mean, the game was so much more physical.”
Charles Barley, The Dan Patrick Show
The battle of styles
It was by no means hate speech from Charles, who made it clear how much he loves Curry and the players today. But Barkley tried to explain how the game in the 70s and 80s was simply much more physically demanding on players, whereas today it’s much more fluid and relies on outside play.
I mean, there’s nothing quite like what the Detroit “Bad Boys” Pistons introduced to the NBA in the ’80s with their rugged style of play that didn’t really earn them a lot of fans or the respect for their opponents. What Jordan went through in his playoff losses before finally overcoming them in 1991 might just be the toughest challenge a superstar has had to overcome.
The fast pace and openness of today’s game is precisely why Curry has been one of the best players of the past decade, with an ideal skill set for today’s NBA. If you put him in the old school era with his slight build, he would have a much harder time getting to his places and doing what he does best. But that is precisely why it is impossible to say with 100% certainty that a modern team would crush an 80s team or vice versa.