trex_8063 wrote: MyUniBroDavis wrote:
I get trying to use that kind of reasoning but based off the film we have of the 40s and 50s
Like its pretty blatant that neither of those teams are beating a D1 college team if you transport them to todays era.
Theres a level of stiffness in the nba back then thats because of the rules, but because they were taught that way because of the rules, if you told them "hey palming is done" they arent gonna be nba level ball handlers even if you gave them a few months of prep
I mean it's a totally different game today than what they were playing back then. In many ways you're asking them to start from scratch. And for that you're magnanimously offering them......a few months
You ever notice how most NBA perimeter players tend to peak somewhere in the 27-29 years age range---occasionally even later [e.g. Steve Nash]---even though their actual physical peak was generally years earlier?
And these are guys who have, in most instances, been playing basketball [more or less as it's played today] intensively since they were kids. But it STILL takes until that period of their lives to hone their skills to a degree where they peak as a player.
But these guys you'd offer just a few months?
It's like giving a famed rock/metal guitarist a banjo and saying "I'll give you 2-3 months to practice"......and then if he's not a world-class banjo player by the end of the time, you conclude "See? he's not really
a great musician/player."
And fwiw, you mentioned how "rigid" and awkward players of these early early eras look. But consider this was a small-time team sport at the beginning; facilities were not well-kept, and people were daily allowed on to the courts with street shoes, etc.
Imagine the dirty and scuffed floors that results in. Now imagine you're playing on that scuffed floor in one of these:
How quick do you think you can take off from a start without slipping or having a potential safety concern? The experience would rank somewhere in the middle of playing on modern shoes/floors and playing on ice
Do you think Russell Westbrook is going to want to take one of his ultra-fast and high-flying forays at the rim while wearing those^^^? Or do you think he might err a bit on the side of caution (playing a bit more "rigid")?
Further, how would he be able to move that fast with the ball anyway when he's not allowed to put his hand on the side of the ball to propel it forward to keep up with the rest of him?
Likewise Steph Curry isn't going to be confounding old-era defenders with a startling cross-over [well....he could, but it's only going to result in a turnover]. And the ball might especially take some unpredictable bounces pre-'53, when the ball was still a rubber bladder inside a leather case with an actual prominent sewn seam:
Beyond that there's a myriad of other realistic considerations (regarding how skills were spread in a pre-television/pre-internet era, other mentoring/coaching/training factors, etc) that has to go into it.
Once you realize that humans haven't
evolved so far in a mere two generations to make feasible the idea that there was literally no human capable of doing certain modern skills back then......you then realize it's these other external
factors that are primarily at play.
That doesn't mean players aren't intrinsically better [on average] today; they are.
But it does mean one shouldn't be so quick to blithely dismiss all these guys as basketball nobodies. And also, the "time machine transport" method is a fairly useless mental exercise.
But like again thats not what im saying here lol.
I recognize that external factors are the main reason for players being better today. Ive never disagreed with that
Ive never said humans have evolved, training has evolved, and interest in the sport increased. These are external factors, maybe the talent pool increased but thats about it
If lebron was born in 1940 and mikan in 2010 this convo would be completey flipped, id say mikan>lebron.
But the fact that the situation is from an external perspective rather than an internal one doesnt change much for me at all.
Sure mikan might have been a good player if he was born today, maybe he would have been the greatest ever who knows
At the same time, that doesnt really change my early statement that I think the Okongwu is better raw. Im not saying peak mikan relative to his time is worse, even accounting for the talent pool.
Im saying that the player mikan was is worse than the player okongwu is. We're in agreement that its because of eexternal circumstance.
The main issue people have is this is unfair to older players because they dont have the same opportunity/access to things that modern guys do. Thats true
But im not really making an argument for whats fair and not though. When comparing accross eras ill give some benifit of the doubt, particularly with threes since thats more of a strategy change at least since it became a thing.
Like if 50 years from now theyve found a golden routine to make the average joe more athletic than lebron and more skilled than curry then those guys are gonna be represented alot on my all time list if i had one
Like im not doing it 1000% like this, like even though i genuinly do feel mikan isnt as good as our center was i still have him too 50 whereas if i rated the way im saying
I wouldnt have him in my top 5000, but i def am unfair to older players because of this
I get that this is a weird pov for alot of people but thats just how i view it. I respect older players but because of the external circumstances, when it comes to guys like mikan, they are in they arent nearly as good as modern ones are for the reasons you stated.
I get the idea is that its unfair to older players but my personal way of looking at it, is that its also unfair to modern players who are technically a great deal better, and even if its because of circumstances, which i agree it is, that doesnt change whose actually better if we pit them in a fantasy matchup and equalized the rules either way.
Realistically we all do this to a degree or else our only criteria would be in era impact + intangibles, i just am more heavily on the end of the spectrum that has a way of evaluating players than isnt fair to older players, i dont think that makes my statement, that okongwu is better than mikan, wrong. I dont view okongwu as a top 50 player ever but i view mikan as one so its not neccessarily oin the sense i only rate players by how good they were period but its def a thing about criteria, and regardless of if its unfair or not how criteria to rank players is subjective anyw lol, someone who ranks them heavily based on titles as the leading man might be someone people disagree withh but he isnt inherently wrong