The post Jordan years in the NBA were a little worrisome. After growing up with the end of Bird, Magic, and Isiah, Jordan carried the NBA for the next 8 or 9 years. NBA was the best. MLB? The strike killed it for me. The NFL? Exciting, but as a kid I never saw myself wearing huge pads and it lacked the fluidity of other sports. The NBA? Perfect. I'd play basketball all recess. I'd get home, eat a bowl of cereal, then shoot hoops until the sun went down (sometimes latter). So I am loving this generation of talent. The next 15 years look very promising and I couldn't be more excited about them.
But what about when Lebron retires after hoisting up his 5th title? I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, but think about it... Is this the last great generation of basketballers? Or sports in general? I argue it could be.
As leisure time grew for kids through the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, kids would spent more and more time outside. Shooting hoops, experiencing nature, reading books or doing whatever they pleased. Today's kids are playing more and more video games and twittering and texting and TVing. This could no doubt help them experience nature in ways previously unimagined. The technology revolution is going to do wonders for the general education of the world's youth.
But what about sports? As more kids spend recess sending messages, fewer spend recess shooting hoops. As more kids pass their time twittering, fewer pass the rock around. I'm not lamenting this evolution necessarily, but I am wondering if this will lead to a weaker caliber player. Maybe that's not a bad thing though, because if a future NBAers get better than Jordan, Kobe and Lebron, my head may explode.
Enjoy this video and cheesy music (and pay attention to how much hand-checking was allowed back then):