Gary Payton thankful ‘soft era’ of NBA didn’t exist for him

Gary Payton thankful ‘soft era’ of NBA didn’t exist for him

gary payton thankful 'soft era' of nba didn't exist for him 2016 images

Gary Payton Doesn’t Think He Could Have Survived This ‘Soft Era’ of NBA

The NBA, like most things in life, has changed over the years. The game nowadays is significantly different from the one legends of old played.

For example, games are relatively high-scoring now, with the nod usually given to the most explosive offense (i.e. the Golden State Warriors). In contrast, the 1980s and 1990s were dominated by defensive legends. The final scores were usually a little lower, as offenses struggled to best the physical defenses they were matched up against.

Today, flagrant fouls are significantly more frequent. Looking at certain star players the wrong way doesn’t fly. Technical fouls are somewhat freer flowing as well. Concerns over player safety have shaped the way the game is played, hand checking is illegal, body bumping is frowned upon, and offense is the primary focus.

Of course, the game is still great. It’s just a different kind of great. The NFL is much the same way as playing defense becomes more and more difficult. The older, retired players, however, like to take shots at the younger, softer generation whenever applicable.

“I could never play basketball in this soft era,” tweeted Hall of Famer Gary Payton. “All of my contract money would go toward fines. Lol.”

Good-humored, sure, but the long-time Seattle Supersonic does have a point.

Payton was somewhat of an enforcer for his team—the physical player who made a name for himself with his relentless defense and trash talk. Gary paid more than his fair share of fines over the course of his career, but with fines given out for next to nothing now, his wallet would definitely be a lot lighter.

There’s no right answer. There never is. But, for now, at least, offense is king, and the league doesn’t plan to change that anytime soon. Just look at it as a shift of excitement—from stellar defense to seemingly-impossible shooting. From knocking people to the ground to dropping eight 3s a night. From Charles Barkley to Steph Curry.

Click to add a comment

Chris covers everything NBA, NFL and NCAA with his weekly recaps, highlights and anything else he thinks you'll want to know about and more than likely things you don't want to hear about your favorite team. His take no prisoners opinion gets some fans worked up, but that's because he's almost always right.

More in NBA

marijuana talk for steve kerr and phil jackson 2016 images

Marijuana talk for Steve Kerr and Phil Jackson

Chris MauriceDecember 8, 2016
draymond green anger grows with nba over unnatural acts 2016 images

Draymond Green anger grows with NBA over ‘unnatural acts’

Chris MauriceDecember 6, 2016
dwyane wade gets over on lebron james twice in one night 2016 images

Dwyane Wade gets over on LeBron James twice in one night

Chris MauriceDecember 4, 2016
john wall demarcus cousins nba indecision 2016 images

John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins NBA indecision

Chris MauriceNovember 30, 2016
new york knicks gets sprinter marshall plumlees nba debut 2016 images

New York Knicks get sprinter Marshall Plumlee’s NBA debut

Chris MauriceNovember 23, 2016
new york knicks have 'come to jesus' meeting with phil jackson 2016 images

New York Knicks have ‘come to Jesus’ meeting with Phil Jackson

Chris MauriceNovember 23, 2016
kevin durant talks russell westbrook and warriors loss 2016 images

Kevin Durant talks Russell Westbrook and Warriors loss

Chris MauriceNovember 3, 2016
espn hit piece doesn't sway stephen curry from draymond green 2016 images

ESPN hit piece doesn’t sway Stephen Curry from Draymond Green

Chris MauriceOctober 24, 2016
dwyane wade praises NBA super teams 2016 images

Dwyane Wade praises NBA Super Teams

Chris MauriceOctober 16, 2016

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

You will only receive one per day. You'll also get a free THE WALKING DEAD graphic novel with your subscription