“These Kids Don’t Even Have A Clue”: Michael Jordan’s Comparison Of Physicality Across Eras Gets Showcased By Shaquille O’Neal!
2024/04/01

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uses Instagram to often share his opinions and posts which his views align with. On Monday, O’Neal shared a decade-old clip of talking about how different the physicality was in the NBA back in their playing days.


In an interview promoting the launch of NBA 2K14, Jordan was asked about his early days in the league. He said,

“Physically it was a much more physical game than what it is. Today, You can walk across the lane without getting checked, or screens. [Back then] you always had to pay a price.

Jordan further elaborated on the mentality of players saying, “

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Jordan spoke from experience. He endured some of the most brutal physical punishment against the during the late 1980s. He got the worst of it in the 1989 Eastern Conference Finals. The Pistons, nicknamed the ‘Bad Boys,’ hounded the Bulls superstar en route to a 4-2 series win. Jordan claimed that no player in this era would have to endure that:

“Those are the type of things that these kids don’t even have a clue, of how we we had to grow up or how we had to play.”

The debate about physicality has affected players in the past has been raging on for well over a decade. It came to the fore when JJ Redick dissed Larry Bird.

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the retired guard said:

“There’s no way you could ever argue Larry Bird is a top three-point shooter of all-time. You can’t make that argument. There’s plenty of people that have shot more, made more and — guess what — made more at a higher percentage than Larry Bird from three.”

Hall of Famer educated Redick with a strongly-worded response. , he said:

“To say something as idiotic as that is ridiculous. The physicality that was a part of the league. Hey, look, when you can put your hand on a guy’s hip and make him go a certain way, and you can put your elbow in his chest a guy to slow him up  — there’s not that many guys that can deal with that type of pressure.

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Bird knew opposition players would get handsy with him, and he wasn’t one to take it without dishing it back. Today, the league is more protective, and players don’t get into physical altercations as often. The ‘hard foul,’ where players intentionally use extra strength while intentionally fouling a player to stop them from scoring, was a staple for defenses in the 80s and 90s. However, now it’s almost as rare as an eclipse.

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