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  1. #451
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYKalltheway View Post


    I did not argue that the talent of individual Europeans is decreasing overall, if anything I've been firm that the talent level is rather stagnant but the talent pool is decreasing. The level of European club basketball is decreasing because the same players that did not bother to go to the NBA in the past, now view it as the only viable option. What's decreasing is top level talent. There's only a handful of great players, whereas in the past we had 15-20 per generation, shared across various countries. Now there's not really a great variety.
    There are less leaders/stars coming up today in Europe. Doncic is a once in 30 years talent, he's special, but there used to be more special players. Not so many now, but even if you don't like this fact, it's slightly irrelevant.

    The only thing that changed is the quality and style of the NBA. It allows someone like Doncic to dominate from a very young age, so you extrapolate everything you see and think that this is part of some development alien to the NBA, when in fact that only variable here is the NBA itself. Do you think Doncic dominates if he was drafted by the Bulls and had to respect the hierarchy of Jordan and Pippen, adjusting to a new league and a system that deprives him of handling the ball?
    That isn't a variable to the modern NBA. Plenty of extremely young players dominated the league early on. That isn't a testament to how bad the league is, it's a testament to how good those players are. Would Doncic have dominated if drafted to the Bulls and had to defer to vets like MJ and Pippen? No. But neither would most talented players. That has nothing to do with their talent and everything to do with the situation. Would Doncic have dominated or played this well had he been drafted to a team in the 90's that based their offense around him? Yes, he'd still do extremely well; as you said: he's a generational talent.

    Quote Originally Posted by NYKalltheway View Post
    You're basically saying the 15 Europeans that moved to the NBA are of inferior quality than the 60+ that are there today, are you not?

    I'll basically go on to list some of these guys:
    Drazen Petrovic
    Arvydas Sabonis
    Toni Kukoc
    Dino Radja
    Vlade Divac
    Sarunas Marciulionis

    You may have no clue of what you're saying here, but if a European reads your post, it's the equivalent of you saying that Draymond Green is a better player than Tim Duncan, JR Smith is better than Clyde Drexler, that Andre Drummond is better than Shaq and Carmelo Anthony is better than Michael Jordan. Do you wanna be that guy?

    Since you don't really know, if you wanna: Google is your friend. Youtube could become your bestie.
    I most certainly did not say the 60 players in the NBA today are better than the 15 in the NBA in the 90's. If anything, the relative number shows how many were NBA quality. If you took all the European players after the 15 in the NBA in the 90's today, there would not be hundreds in the NBA, there'd probably be less because as you yourself said, the depth is better today, hence there being 60 international players that are NBA caliber.

    I'm familiar with all those names. To clarify: which player is Tim Duncan and which is Draymond in your comparison? Ditto for J.R. Smith/Drexler, Drummond/Shaq or any of the comparisons you made.

    The guys you listed were very, very good. But they weren't superstars in the NBA back then, nor would they be MVPs in the league today (well, pre-injury Sabonis would be in that conversation). If Europeans think calling Luka, Giannis and Jokic better than Drazen, Vlade, or Radja is akin to calling Smith, Drummond and Melo better than Duncan, Shaq and MJ, then Europeans don't know very much about basketball...

    Quote Originally Posted by NYKalltheway View Post
    I love how you keep ignoring that I only said that because this has been the sentiment in NBA following for years.... Hence the quotation marks. If you are struggling with the term, it's these two bunnies " at the beginning and the end of a word. It means that I'm using the term in a way that reflects that it is not my own view.
    I did not say that Europeans in general are dominating, I said that the dominant players are Europeans. This is the first time it happened. And it just shows that the US talent is dropping, not that the European is raising. We're talking about a 5:1 talent pool difference here. Why does the minority get to improve so much, yet the improving majority (according to you) doesn't eliminate this threat and dominate the top heavy areas?

    What you fail to understand is that I am saying that these valuable European role players have always been around, but you(pl.) were calling them "Eurotrash" because they never played in the NBA. Now they do, and they're not only role players, but apparently elite role players, as per your own words.
    No, that was the sentiment, but there are very few today who have genuine derision of Euro players or call them Eurotrash. You being stuck in the past also applies to rhetoric, you're thinking of 2006. 2022 nobody is dismissing Europeans simply because they are european...

    Yes, there are dominant players that are European. But there are lots of dominant players who are not. It's not like the entirety of dominant players in the NBA are European, it's 3 players out of 10 or more.

    This being the first time it's happened is because it's been 30 years since we had more than 1 or 2 Europeans in the NBA and surprise, they are getting better. Dirk was dominating. We went from 0 in the 90's, to 1 in the 00's to now 3 in the 20's. That isn't a massive change so much as an incremental shift we'd expect as more and more Europeans play basketball.

    Quote Originally Posted by NYKalltheway View Post
    Your argument was that the role players are better. How are they better? Are they imported? If not, then why is there room for imported talent when the domestic one has evolved to a degree that it can be called an "elite role player"? How many elite role players are there? Does every team have them? What exactly are their characteristics? What roles are they filling?

    I thought you said US talent has improved and the bench players are superior to the older generation bench guys, yet we see a rise in international talent. Doesn't that seem a bit contradictory? You usually open the borders when there's not enough skilled people to take the jobs, not the other way around. If basketball has become more popular in the USA, talent level has increased, then why does everything point to the other direction?
    How could it be contradictory to say US talent has improved and there is a rise in International talent. If anything that is consistent: players are getting better and more talented. Everywhere. That's how it goes. Players draw on what players did before and take it to the next level.

    Quote Originally Posted by NYKalltheway View Post
    As for Europe, I would call to see your beloved statistics show us the level of interest in basketball. Actual interest. How many kids are signed up to basketball academies, how many basketball academies there are, what the trend is, when did it peak and all that. You're a stats guy, go fetch the data!

    Then draw a comparison against the US numbers...
    Why would I compare to the US? Obviously, there is more interest in basketball in the states, that's why the majority of quality players are from the US. Your estimate is over 60 Europeans in the 400 player NBA, and roughly 40% of the top of the European league are Americans. In terms of number of pros in relation to their interest, the number of Americans who play pro compared to Europeans is pretty in line with their relative population sizes and interest in basketball...

  2. #452
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYKalltheway View Post
    What makes Jokic better than Divac?

    Stats?

    The MVP award in an era with no rival bigs and no defense played?

    Tell me exactly why you would pick an 18 year old Jokic over an 18 year old Divac. Maybe you'll get somewhere. (If you take the right path, probably it's not where you were intending to go...)
    Stop this bro

  3. #453
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    Quote Originally Posted by smith&wesson View Post
    Stop this bro
    I've seen some biased takes but saying a 1x all-star is better than a perennial all-star and MVP is up there with the GOATs.

  4. #454
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    Quote Originally Posted by beasted86 View Post
    I've seen some biased takes but saying a 1x all-star is better than a perennial all-star and MVP is up there with the GOATs.
    Mount Rushmore status lol Ö

  5. #455
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    So Valade, you're saying that the players of the "Golden age of basketball" of Europe are not MVP calibre players, just because they failed to make an impact against the "Golden age of basketball" of the NBA, yet you don't want to admit that you feel that this is a a "golden age for basketball"?

  6. #456
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    Quote Originally Posted by beasted86 View Post
    I've seen some biased takes but saying a 1x all-star is better than a perennial all-star and MVP is up there with the GOATs.
    Vlade Divac was playing in an era where everyone was biased against him with when only two centers were picked for the all star game against:
    David Robinson (immediate all star rival during his prime)
    Hakeem Olajuwon (immediate all star rival during his prime)
    Mark Eaton (immediate all star rival early on)
    Kevin Duckworth (who was peaking when Vlade was first in the league and his team was reaching finals)
    Dikembe Mutombo (not just a defensive specialist as you would believe, was unlucky enough to go the East at the same time)
    Patrick Ewing (from 1996 to 1998)
    Alonzo Mourning (when Vlade moved to a rebuilding Charlotte to replace him)
    Rik Smits (1996-98)
    Shaq (1999 and on)
    Yao (twilight years)

    Can be compared with Nikola Jokic whose main rivals are centers who aren't really centers, the paint is hardly used and there's no defensive anchor?


    He was only close in 1994 and 1996 because he finally was out of the shadow of both Magic and Worthy, but obviously the Lakers weren't good enough for him to make it, plus it was usually Hakeem and Robinson only. And in the rare occasions there was a 3rd center, Mutombo was it.
    And that was with Elden Campbell sharing the center spot with him in LA...

    Don't you think it's absurd that Vlade Divac only got into the All star game in 2001, when he was 33 years old? Was he better at 33 than 22 when he was running up and down the court full pace with Magic and Worthy?

    That was a combination of foreigner/euro/white bias as well as lack of acknowledgement in general because he ended up at smaller markets after LA in Charlotte and Sacramento. Not because he "rose to all star level". That's an absurd thing to believe. He also wasn't really part of a media generation, nor was he a leading sensation. And it was the 90s, this was a person whose main media attention throughout the 90s was his home country being involved in war. And to top that, he was a Serb in America when the US bombed his country in 1999.

    Remarkably, that coincided with him moving to Sacramento and that's when he started getting more recognition. Was almost an all star in 2000 (behind Shaq and David Robinson, again only 2 centers made it) and 2002 where he was voted 2nd but only Shaq made it...

    Dirk Nowitzki is who made it cool to be European in the NBA. Vlade was one of those who opened the door for everyone else, you cannot compare him with the modern era where 20-25% of the players getting minutes are Europeans/internationals!

    Drazen Petrovic did never make an all star game but he was the only rival Michael Jordan acknowledged. And he should have made at least 2 all star appearances. But he didn't. There was Michael Jordan, Joe Dumars, Mark Price, Isiah Thomas and Reggie Lewis in the way, and he was playing for a bad team.

    Toni Kukoc was never an all star, yet you here the people who drafted him, saw him or even him say that today he'd be the exact carbon copy of Luka Doncic! Yet you refuse this because he played 30 years ago! What kind of nonsense mindset is that? Is everyone who really knows Kukoc insane? Why would Sam Smith risk his reputation to say that Kukoc today would be as good as Doncic*?

    How many Lakers players were in the All star after Magic retired? Do you remember that Vlade missed out almost the entire season as well that year? The answer is zero. Zero Lakers players made the Playoffs from 1992-93 to 1995-96.


    NBA's best centers in the 90s are:
    1. Hakeem
    2. Shaq
    3. D Robinson (could switch with Shaq)
    4. Ewing
    5. Mourning
    6. Mutombo
    7. Divac
    8. Smits
    9. Daugherty
    10th spot can be debated between Daugherty himself due to lack of longevity and several others who barely touched the 90s or just weren't top players like Duckworth, Parish, Willis, Seikaly, Sam Perkins etc.

    Is there any player there that you would replace Jokic with, back in the day? I know that I wouldn't change Ewing with him. He's nowhere near defensively as Mutombo or Mourning. So I don't know. At best, he'd be on Divac & Smits level back in the day and definitely nowhere near multiple All Star appearances nor MVP considerations. On the contrary, those two in today's game would fare similar to Jokic. Best centers in the game, multiple all stars and MVP considerations.

    Unless of course you subscribe that centers are better today and the game overall is harder for the bigs...


    * https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcas...=1000510155542

    After the 9:30 minute mark, Sam Smith says by word: But Toni was Luka Doncic... if not better.

    That's not me, that's Sam Smith.

    https://www.basketballnetwork.net/ch...doncic-is-now/

    Additionally, there's a video at the bottom, says pretty much the same thing.

    Are we going to discard his opinion now because it's not correlated with the NBA fanboy consensus?

    The irony here is that I freaking love Luka Doncic and I never really cared much for Kukoc, barely rooted for him in his career, but to diss him this way just to try to prove that the NBA is better now is insane. Especially when everyone knows it's not, nobody above a certain age even watches this **** over here anymore despite league pass interest. It's a very small group of hardcore fans and the rest are just college kids that found something to watch whilst they're awake at 4am.

    Would really like to know the Regular Season tv ratings from the super league era (2010-) in comparison to other periods.
    Last edited by NYKalltheway; 01-22-2022 at 10:11 AM.

  7. #457
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    Nah. Not buying that garbage. You're biased. You need to accept that.

    Divac was hardly if ever the best player on his own team. The one season he was, the record was putrid. That alone is the most crippling argument to whatever you're typing because that alone eliminates any era biases. He was rarely the best player on his own team! I repeat it again to hopefully make it sink in!

    What years do you think he deserved to be an all-star? I'm waiting for your answer.

  8. #458
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    Quote Originally Posted by beasted86 View Post
    Nah. Not buying that garbage. You're biased. You need to accept that.

    Divac was hardly if ever the best player on his own team. The one season he was, the record was putrid. That alone is the most crippling argument to whatever you're typing because that alone eliminates any era biases. He was rarely the best player on his own team! I repeat it again to hopefully make it sink in!

    What years do you think he deserved to be an all-star? I'm waiting for your answer.
    You're working this backwards.

    The question is not whether Divac deserved to be an all star. He did not. You just read (I hope) a post that said that Divac was behind at least 5 other centers during his time.


    The question is whether the same Divac would have been more effective in this era, earning more all star appearances and even MVP considerations. The answer is yes. A definitive yes.

    And Nikola Jokic would be one of the first to say so.

    How many all star appearances would Jokic have if there were 2 spots and Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson were around?

  9. #459
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    Quote Originally Posted by beasted86 View Post
    Nah. Not buying that garbage. You're biased. You need to accept that.

    Divac was hardly if ever the best player on his own team. The one season he was, the record was putrid. That alone is the most crippling argument to whatever you're typing because that alone eliminates any era biases. He was rarely the best player on his own team! I repeat it again to hopefully make it sink in!

    What years do you think he deserved to be an all-star? I'm waiting for your answer.
    +1

  10. #460
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYKalltheway View Post
    You're working this backwards.

    The question is not whether Divac deserved to be an all star. He did not. You just read (I hope) a post that said that Divac was behind at least 5 other centers during his time.

    The question is whether the same Divac would have been more effective in this era, earning more all star appearances and even MVP considerations. The answer is yes. A definitive yes.

    And Nikola Jokic would be one of the first to say so.

    How many all star appearances would Jokic have if there were 2 spots and Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson were around?
    Just because he was good a passing C it doesnít mean he was on the same level as someone like Jokic. Itís one thing to compare skillset, itís another thing to compare talent. Jokic is on another level in comparison.

    If Jokic played in that era he would still be special because he is one that can carry a team. A corner stone, a franchise player. Divac was never that.

    Doesnít matter the era, cream rises to the top. I think youíre under the impression, that itís an easier era for bigs? Itís not thereís more expected of them in todays game.
    Last edited by smith&wesson; 01-22-2022 at 01:34 PM.

  11. #461
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    Quote Originally Posted by smith&wesson View Post
    Just because he was good a passing C it doesnít mean he was on the same level as someone like Jokic. Itís one thing to compare skillset, itís another thing to compare talent. Jokic is on another level in comparison.

    If Jokic played in that era he would still be special because he is one that can carry a team. A corner stone, a franchise player. Divac was never that.

    Doesnít matter the era, cream rises to the top. I think youíre under the impression, that itís an easier era for bigs? Itís not thereís more expected of them in todays game.
    What are you basing this on? Which skillset is Divac lacking that wouldn't make him a franchise player in today's NBA?

    Would Jokic be a franchise player if he was playing with Magic and Worthy?

    Would he have been a franchise player if his positional rivals were Hakeem, Shaq, Robinson, Ewing, Mourning?

    Was Mutombo a franchise player btw?

    I asked Valade before about 15 characteristics between the two players, the same applies to you and everyone else. Please rate the two. At their prime, if you haven't seen Vlade before he was 30 don't even bother.

  12. #462
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYKalltheway View Post
    So Valade, you're saying that the players of the "Golden age of basketball" of Europe are not MVP calibre players, just because they failed to make an impact against the "Golden age of basketball" of the NBA, yet you don't want to admit that you feel that this is a a "golden age for basketball"?
    I don't think there were vastly more MVP caliber players in that Golden Age than today. This idea that the mid-level players from the 90's if transported today would suddenly destroy the league is erroneous. I don't think what makes the Golden Age is that every player was vastly better than at any other point.

    I also don't think there's a massive correlation between rule changes in the NBA and the talent of the NBA. The talent keeps incrementally increasing, this is how it works in any sport and pretty much all things. The next generation takes what the older generation did and builds on it.

    Just because the rules cater to shooters doesn't mean players don't know how to do other things. People often talk about how if MJ were in the NBA today he would have developed a better 3-pt shot to accommodate the rules today. Well, it works vice versa. Jokic is already an excellent post player, he would have further developed those skills if in the 90's as opposed to taking so many 3's. Then people talk about how much tougher it was in the NBA back then, but they use that argument against the worst possible people like Bron or Jokic. Bron would have zero, I repeat ZERO trouble with a more physical league. Dude is one of greatest physical specimens ever and brushes off contact like it's nothing, you are not gonna hack your way to him doing bad. Same with Jokic, dude is thick and plays extremely physically. He would have no problem banging with the C's of the 90's (indeed, he likes playing that physical style).

    There are some players who would have a more difficult time in a more physical league (Harden, Curry, Lillard, etc.) but even then, they would adjust to the physicality as they (Harden excepted) do in the playoffs. But again, the vice versa is true. Players who relied on the physicality of the league to play defense wouldn't be nearly as effective. Many defenders relied on hand checking to keep in front of their opponents, with that gone, their sloppier footwork and lateral movement would be exposed.

    Then we get to zones. They are massively impactful on defense. In fact, zones were so good that is why the NBA had to get rid of hand checking and open up the game more to induce scoring, because zone defenses introduced to the rules of the 90's turned the league into Soccer scores. In 2004 only 2 teams scored over 100 PPG. In 93 every team in the league except for 2 were scoring over 100 PPG. That's how insane zone defenses were. They literally brought scoring to a halt.

    So they got rid of hand checking and tried to open the league up, except those zones are still there. Teams have gotten much better at beating them, which is a big reason why shooting has exploded (and the depth of people who can shoot is just far above any other time in NBA history), to beat the zones. Tell me, what makes the one dimensional shooter worse from a skills standpoint than the one dimensional defensive stud? Both are extremely one dimensional.

    We got a taste of how a lack of shooting is a crippling problem because it makes you one dimensional. Look at Ben Simmons. Great talent except he can't shoot at all, and he is focused on and exposed in the playoffs to the point where he isn't even really a positive on the floor because his lack of shooting is so crippling. He would be viewed far better in the 80's or 90's where his shooting deficiency wouldn't matter as much.

    Conversely, you look at players who can only primarily shoot and you think "they'd never make it in the 90's" except, plenty did. So if anything, the one dimensional good shooters would have an easier time succeeding at being role players in the 90's than a one dimensional zero on offense would have succeeding at being a role player today. You're telling me Kyle Korver or Duncan Robinson couldn't be Steve Kerr?


    This is why, no I don't think players like Vlade would suddenly become MVPs in today's league. Heck, is there any other time you think that would also happen? You think if he came out in 81 he would be an MVP caliber player in the 80's? What about the 70s? Or the 60s? Would he be competing with Wilt and Kareem for MVPs? I doubt it. So that means you'd have to think that the literal talent in today's NBA is literally worse than at any point in the past 60 years.

    That is a fantastical claim, especially given the general principle that groups of people improve over time. You hear players all the time, such as Shaq, Barkley, Kerr, Wade, Kareem, etc. tell you comparing modern players to older players is unfair because they get to see the older players and build upon what they did. That is an acknowledgement of how talent increases generationally. You are claiming the exact opposite. It is a very fantastical claim.

  13. #463
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYKalltheway View Post
    What are you basing this on? Which skillset is Divac lacking that wouldn't make him a franchise player in today's NBA?

    Would Jokic be a franchise player if he was playing with Magic and Worthy?

    Would he have been a franchise player if his positional rivals were Hakeem, Shaq, Robinson, Ewing, Mourning?

    Was Mutombo a franchise player btw?

    I asked Valade before about 15 characteristics between the two players, the same applies to you and everyone else. Please rate the two. At their prime, if you haven't seen Vlade before he was 30 don't even bother.
    He is literally not a good enough scorer to carry a team, his post game was good but not great enough to be an offensive focal point and his shooting was not nearly good enough to make up for it. Additionally, he is not an upper level defensive anchor. He is good both offensively and defensively, but he is not carry a team good in either category.

    Also, you said he had to compete against the likes of Mark Eaton for All-Star games, that in and of itself should tell you he wouldn't be MVP caliber today. Mark Eaton would be borderline unplayable today. He is not only a zero on offense, he actively hurts it (it's actually insane that a 7'4" man like him can be so bad at cleaning up shots around the basket and playing the dunkers position as a lob threat).

    Divac is in general underrated, that I agree with, and I do think his skillset is better suited for the modern game. But he would not be scoring 27 a night like Jokic or Embiid, nor would he be single handedly locking down the paint like Gobert. He would be the best of the non-elite C's in the league, and nowhere near an MVP caliber player.

    Conversely, Jokic on those Lakers teams would definitely be a clash in terms of styles as Jokic doesn't love to run the floor like the Showtime Lakers, but he would fit perfectly into Kareem's later role of half-court centerpiece, and just like Kareem he'd take the ball in the high-post. This version of Jokic is on the 91 Lakers they very likely beat the Bulls and win it all.

    Jokic would have be a top tier talent in any era in the league.

  14. #464
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    Quote Originally Posted by valade16 View Post
    I don't think there were vastly more MVP caliber players in that Golden Age than today. This idea that the mid-level players from the 90's if transported today would suddenly destroy the league is erroneous. I don't think what makes the Golden Age is that every player was vastly better than at any other point.
    That's not what made it the 'golden age'. It's not all or nothing, it's the top heavy element that makes it a golden age.

    The idea of a Golden Age is that there were multiple players of legendary quality, and obviously not everyone can win. What also drove the very best to their current legendary status was having to beat the other legendary players that missed out (the Barkleys, Malones, Stocktons, Ewings, Wilkins, Millers, Robinsons, Paytons etc) as well as beating each other (Bird, Magic, Kareem, Jordan, Isiah Thomas etc).

    The reason why we don't have a golden age now is because the top talent doesn't compare to periods where we had this. It's easier to be a top player in the league today. Proof is that there are at least 3 international players that are at that level, something inconceivable even during Europe's golden age.

    Now, why is that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYKalltheway View Post
    That's not what made it the 'golden age'. It's not all or nothing, it's the top heavy element that makes it a golden age.

    The idea of a Golden Age is that there were multiple players of legendary quality, and obviously not everyone can win. What also drove the very best to their current legendary status was having to beat the other legendary players that missed out (the Barkleys, Malones, Stocktons, Ewings, Wilkins, Millers, Robinsons, Paytons etc) as well as beating each other (Bird, Magic, Kareem, Jordan, Isiah Thomas etc).

    The reason why we don't have a golden age now is because the top talent doesn't compare to periods where we had this. It's easier to be a top player in the league today. Proof is that there are at least 3 international players that are at that level, something inconceivable even during Europe's golden age.

    Now, why is that?
    Well you are using a wide swath of time with the players listed considering all weren't in their prime or top players at the same time. As an example, Wilkins last year over 20 PPG was 94, which was GP's first All-Star year. They were not the same era. IT, Magic, Bird, and Kareem were all retired or close to it by the time Reggie, GP, or D-Rob were considered top players.

    I also do not buy the idea that the top talent doesn't compare to earlier periods. The depth of top talent is insane. Bron, despite your opinion, will go down as in the conversation for the very best ever. Curry is by far the greatest shooter to ever play in the league. KD would be among the best scorers of any era. Guys like Lillard will be overlooked historically due to how much talent is in the league today, but he is amazing. Kawhi has dampened his historical standing but talentwise he's among the better players to ever come along. Then you have great players like Embiid, AD, CP3, Harden, etc.

    And all those players are before we even get to Giannis, Luka, and Jokic. Which again, are only 3 players hitting the upper level, and the reason is because they are that good.

    The problem is you are basing it on a faulty premise: that Luka, Giannis, and Jokic are not any better than the Divac's, Radja's, Kukoc's, etc. They are. That is why they're doing better, and would if they played in the 90's.

    You really think Giannis would do worse in a league that didn't emphasize outside shooting as much? C'mon.

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