Pippen, Cheating, and Everyone in the Pre-1970s NBA

The Last Dance is over and it really hit that nostalgia nerve for me. I’m finally an expert in something people are interested in talking about. The doc wasn’t perfect, but I still enjoyed it. A few of the Bulls players were upset about the documentary. Horace Grant was upset that Jordan told the world he was a snitch, which is understandable. Scottie Pippen, on the other hand, is upset about the way he was portrayed. I’m confused about this one. Maybe he’s referring to the first few episodes where his team-friendly contract plays a large part. Pippen was largely underpaid during the Bulls run, but I think he was right to guarantee his future in the wake of his family’s past hardships. The part of the doc that made him look like a doofus was the infamous game where he refused to enter the game because Phil Jackson drew up the final play for Toni Kukoc (who hit the game winning shot, by the way). This was actually Pippen’s chance to say he was wrong, which he did, but he also noted that he would’ve made the same decision if given the chance to relive the moment. I’m sorry, what??? Pippen was portrayed accurately if you ask me. He made some mistakes in his career but he was still one of the best to ever lace them up.

This is by no means breaking news, but I just want to remind everyone that the Houston Astros cheated in order to win the World Series and Major League Baseball hasn’t done a goddamn thing to punish them or to prevent this type of thing from happening again. Hey Phillies, let’s go grab a title this year. Hire me as GM, we’ll cheat our asses off, and then when it’s discovered that we cheated, you can suspend me for a year and we can sip champagne and enjoy our title.

I’ve been watching a lot of classic NBA games lately and, in particular, one’s from the 60s and early 70s. I noticed a number of Hall of Famers and players who frequently find themselves in many “experts” top-ten all-time lists. Well I’m here to tell you that it was a different game. It’s mind-boggling that current players have advanced the game in so many ways in such a short time. When people say that Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell couldn’t play in today’s game, they’re right. This is only true in the sense that if you took 1960s Bill or Wilt and dropped them into a game in 2015, they’d be obliterated by guys on the end of the bench, but if they were raised in the 80s or 90s he’d have been exposed to a different level of training, diet, and competition. They, along with many others, would still be Hall of Famers in the modern game if they were raised in it. A lot of twitter jockeys love to give their opinions on Jerry West and Oscar Robertson without ever having seen them play. Now, I know you’re thinking “Jerry isn’t old enough to have seen Jerry West play either” but through the magic of NBATV and YouTube I have gone back to watch enough to formulate an opinion. I really encourage people to do the same. Ok, I’ll get down from my soapbox now.

Enjoy your long weekend, everyone. Be safe. Protect yourself and others. Don’t be a jackass.

 

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