Larry Bird is not down with other players #getoffmylawn movement.
From Gary Payton to Reggie Miller to Scottie Pippen and on and on, we get to hear a lot of former players whose ego remains wrapped up in their exploits from decades ago — they are convinced today’s game is not as good as their era. Fans view the past through rose-colored glasses, too (for example ignoring the fact that most 1990s games were 86-82 slogs with a slow pace, they remember only Jordan).
Larry Bird is not part of this movement.
He spoke to The New Yorker for a short piece about the idea of a four-point line and praised today’s game (via Deadspin).
“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.”
Well said, Larry the Legend.
It’s okay to love the 1980s or ’90s and think today’s basketball are entertaining.
LeBron James and Stephen Curry are all time great players who would be a force in any era. A player from another decade can admit this and not damage his own reputation. So long as said player’s ego isn’t too fragile.