Michael Jordan is the source of a wealth of crazy stories and legends, but not all of them are true. A former player notably refuted one of them recently, allowing himself to defend active athletes.
“It was better before”, is an adage that comes up frequently in discussions within the NBA community. Whether it’s via nostalgic fans or former players themselves complaining about the evolution of basketball, there’s always something to complain about in today’s league. An example of this is the proliferation of three-point shooting in recent years, which is regretted by a host of old-school observers.
Another point that is regularly raised concerning the LeBron James, Kevin Durant & co., is the relationship they have with the refereeing body. Are the stars of the moment spending too much time complaining? It is in any case a widely held opinion, but it is not to everyone’s taste. JJ Redick responded to this in a cash way recently, explaining that this phenomenon already dates back several decades:
JJ Redick cash on the relationship between Jordan and the referees
Are you saying Michael Jordan didn’t complain to officials during his career? Larry Bird didn’t complain? Come on, guys… That nostalgia you have for the 80s and 90s… Of course it’s a great basketball era. It was great, but all that talk is at the expense of our generation of players, and it has been for 15 years. And it’s boring. You know it’s true.
Lawyer of the current era, the former sniper does not hesitate to tackle big issues, especially when it comes to His Airness. There are also compilations on the net showing the superstar of the Bulls in great discussion with the officials, proof that this trend is not exclusive to the 21st century. Number 23 may be the source of a host of exciting stories, but we can’t say that he was stoic in all circumstances either.
In fact, if this impression exists today, it may also be because the NBA is much more publicized than it was 20 years ago. Social networks now allow access to everything, including in-game sequences where we see players interacting with referees. Fans of the 80s and 90s didn’t have that available to them, but that doesn’t mean athletes of their time didn’t behave the same way.
Do current players complain too much? According to JJ Redick, this received idea is totally false and he even went so far as to invoke Michael Jordan to support his thesis. The debate is likely to rage for a while yet…