NBA : NBA: How Would Former Stars Rank If Drafted According to Today’s Basketball?


By ., Translation: Arma Kaynar /

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If you are a young basketball lover, while watching the old NBA games, you may be wondering how the players who struggled in that period will adapt to the NBA today.

To give the simplest example, the pivot position 30 years ago and the expectations from today’s pivots are very different. In the past, tall players were expected to take their opponents on their backs and approach the basket, but today athletic longs who run towards the hoop and face the basket are preferred. The change in the NBA rules of the period, the preferences of the coaches and the changing style of play are the biggest factors here.

However, in discussions about sports, “What if it were like that?” The question was attractive. That’s why we can’t stop wondering how some players would play if they had played in different periods. One cannot stop wondering which players would benefit from this situation in a period when basketball was played at a much higher pace and more three pointers were made.

As . team, we decided it would be fun to answer this question, and we wanted to put together a group of David Aldridge, James L. Edwards, John Hollinger and Mike Vorkunov to rank the top 20 of the players who have played in the recent past. These 4 people formed teams of 5 for themselves and explained which player and why they chose in which order.

Modern era definition: The NBA introduced the “hand check” rule in 2004 as the end of a group rule change that started in 1988. A much more physical basketball was played in the NBA in the 1980s and 1990s. The hand check rule has also been one of the defenders’ biggest helpers for years. After this rule was lifted, it became significantly easier for players to score in the NBA.

In the last year when hand check was allowed, an average of 102.9 points were scored in the league, while this average increased to 106.1 in the first season when the rule was removed. In the 2003-04 season, only 5 players managed to overcome the 50-point threshold, while the number of players who achieved this rose to 12 in the 2005-06 season. Therefore, we can see the date when the hand check rule was removed as a clear line between the old period of the NBA and the modern period.

Which players can be drafted? For the sake of this thinking exercise, we decided to evaluate the players who were drafted between 1985 and 2004. Players who fall between the first year of the lotari and the first year of the hand check rule will be able to take part in this exercise. However, we did not consider players who are currently in the Hall of Fame and who are very likely to enter the Hall of Fame in the future. The whole point of this post is to see which basketball players will be more successful in another period.