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The Warriors' 73 victories broke the Bulls' 1996 record, but O'Neal said his 2001 Lakers would have beaten them. That team set an NBA record by going 15-1 in the postseason for the second of three straight championships under Jackson, back when O'Neal could be an even bigger physical force before rules changes loosened the game for free-flowing offenses like Golden State's to thrive. "If you're using those rules, we'd win. Now we use these rules these days, we'd still win, because you wouldn't be allowed to touch me, you wouldn't be allowed to touch Kobe," O'Neal said. "So yeah, that's how I always look at it."
Basketball Hall of Famer Dave Bing has a pretty strong opinion: Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is the best shooter in NBA history. "He is absolutely the best shooter that has played the game," said Bing, who was named one of the Top 50 NBA players of all time. "Nobody's close, except his teammate." Curry's teammate, of course, is Klay Thompson. But Bing gave Curry the nod over Thompson because of everything else he does.
“People think us old guys hate when we talk about it,” Barkley told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “It has nothing to do with the Warriors’ greatness, LeBron’s greatness. But I’ve never seen the NBA as bad as it is, and I’ve been saying it the last three or four years. We’ve got too many young players coming out of college that don’t know how to play. It’s frustrating for me because I want to see competitive basketball.
“It’s funny how the game has changed,” Bird continued. “And my thinking about it. I was really worried—back sixteen, seventeen years ago—that the little guy didn’t have a spot in the N.B.A. anymore: it was just going to be the big guards like Magic Johnson. But then players started shooting more threes and spacing the court, and everyone wants small guards now. Watching these kids play now, I’m like everybody else: Wow, man. They can really shoot! They have more freedom to get to the basket. The ball moves a little better. These kids are shooting from farther, with more accuracy. Now some teams shoot up around thirty threes a game. My era, you always think that’s the greatest era. But I’m not so sure anymore.”
“People think us old guys hate when we talk about it,” Barkley told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “It has nothing to do with the Warriors’ greatness, LeBron’s greatness. But I’ve never seen the NBA as bad as it is, and I’ve been saying it the last three or four years. We’ve got too many young players coming out of college that don’t know how to play. It’s frustrating for me because I want to see competitive basketball.
"The past guys that have been in this league are always going to have an opinion of what they would've been like in this era and this new generation," Irving said. "All you can do is respect what they have given to the game, respect any opinion of the past guys that have given something to this game that I've watched for numerous years. It's all in good respect."
NBA players today are, on average, significantly better at virtually every skill relevant to basketball than ever before. And the gap between modern players and players in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s is enormous, and even since the late 80’s and 90’s there’s been at least some improvement.
Curry has been the most recent victim of this growing trend, with the likes of Oscar Robertson and others marginalizing the historic accomplishments of the Golden State Warriors star and reigning MVP with their self-serving commentary. “Yeah, for me personally in my career I’ve done nothing but big-up the guys who paved the way for us,” James told USA TODAY Sports. “I’m respectful to all the guys who paved the way, the greats, guys who were role players, guys who were part of a championship team or was not. I’ve always been respectful, so it does kind of suck when you’ve got guys who played before us and paved the way for us (and) …they like to talk down on a lot of our players, saying, ‘Well if they played in our era it wouldn’t be the same.’”
“I heard Dennis Rodman say if I played in their era I’d just be an average player – yeah, about me, that I’d be just an average player,” James said. “And they say the same things about Steph, ‘If Steph played in our era, then we’d be more physical with him and we’d go at him.’ And it sucks because we’re just trying to carry the torch for the next group to come behind us. “I just want to be able to leave a mark personally, and be able to leave this game, this beautiful game, when I’m done with it for the next group of guys. I’m never one to talk down on a group of guys. If they can play, they can play.”
Storyline: Old School vs. New School
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September 27, 2022 | 8:06 am EDT Update

Nuggets GM explains why Denver didn't keep Facundo Campazzo

“Facundo Campazzo gave his heart and soul when he was here. He was loved in the locker room,” said Calvin Booth on Monday at a press conference for NBA media day in Denver. “We wanted to try to be a little bigger team and we didn’t think it was absolutely necessary to have a real point guard like Facu so we made the decision to move in a different direction,” he added. “I know he probably wanted to have played more. But these are things that happen throughout a season,” Booth said.

Anthony Davis: 'We're the underdogs'

With reams of championship banners hanging above him, a couple of surefire Hall of Fame teammates present in the gym with him and a team roster that will cost the Los Angeles Lakers a hair under $175 million, Anthony Davis’ statement about the upcoming season sounded almost unthinkable. “We’re treating this season like we have a chip on our shoulder. We’re the underdogs,” Davis told ESPN during the team’s annual media day on Monday. “Obviously, the world is looking to see what we do. But … they’re not talking about us, and that’s fine. You know, we’d rather be under the radar.”
For his part, AD is just taking it all in. He understands that there’s going to be a lot of pressure on him coming into the new season. However, he just isn’t going to let all this get into his head (h/t NBA TV on Twitter): “I look at it the same as I was in New Orleans,” he said. “My first year here, I feel like I was kinda the focal point even then. … For me, it’s just approaching it as any other season coming in. Just being myself. I think the more pressure you start to put on yourself, that’s when people start getting flustered and doing things they’re not used to doing. “For me, come in, play basketball. If I be who I am — the Anthony Davis I know I can be — the rest will take care of itself. I’m not putting any extra pressure on myself.”
Pelinka said Westbrook is a “great part of our team,” but the Lakers executive added, “If we have to continue to upgrade our roster throughout the season, we will.” Pelinka explained that if that means parting with the Lakers’ 2027 and 2029 first-round draft picks in a trade that involves Westbrook, he will be open to it for the right deal. “Let me be abundantly clear: We have one of the great players in LeBron James to ever play the game, and he committed to us on a long-term contract, a three-year contract,” Pelinka said, alluding to the contract extension James signed in August that will keep him in L.A. through the 2024-25 season. “So of course, we will do everything we can, picks included, to make deals to give us a chance to help LeBron get to the end. He committed to our organization. That’s got to be a bilateral commitment, and it’s there.”
None of us knows what will happen next. That’s the beauty of sports, though: You know you want to watch. “Whatever unfolds, unfolds,” he said. “I’m just happy and blessed to be able to play a game I love again. … Whether they want me here or not doesn’t really matter. Honestly, my job is to be a professional, show up to work like I’ve always done thus far, do my job the best way I know how to, and that’s it. I mean, we all have jobs (where) sometimes people at our jobs don’t like us, or they don’t want us there, as you guys probably can attest to in many other jobs across the world. And as a professional, as a working man, I have to do my job and do it the best way I know how to be able to support and take care of my family, and that’s what I will do.”