Former NBA player BJ Armstrong has given his thoughts on comparing players from different eras. On the most recent episode of his podcast, “The Hoop Genius Podcast,” Armstrong and his co-host Mo Mooncey talk about the evolution of the game of basketball.
Comparing era players is nothing new in basketball. Fans constantly compare their favorite players to those who came before them. Often, we see LeBron James being compared to Michael Jordan. Like the fans, the media have had endless debates over which player is better. Most of the time, players from different generations are usually put side by side.
BJ Armstrong, a former Chicago Bulls star, weighed in on this in response to JJ Redick’s controversial take on NBA legend Bob Cousy. If you forgot what was controversial about his take, here’s a reminder:
His comments about “plumbers and firefighters” made the rounds in many NBA circles. He also reached out to LA Lakers legend Jerry West, who shared his thoughts on the matter:
With this exchange, many former players then shared their thoughts on the subject. This includes Armstrong, who took time on his podcast to voice his opinion.
“Watching Steph Curry right now is no different than watching Bob Cousy,” Armstrong said of comparing two legendary players. That never changes and that to me is what makes it a wonderful game. … These are the fundamentals, the core of who we are.”
BJ Armstrong concluded with this:
“You watch Michael Jordan’s game or you watch Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar)…you will be very impressed if you just watch the fundamentals of the game.”
BJ Armstrong’s point is valid when it comes to comparing players from different eras
In the first part of the BJ Armstrong podcast episode, they discussed the difference in situations from different eras.
The league back then was very different. In the past, players didn’t have designer boots, the 3-point line was hardly new, and there weren’t incredibly massive contracts. Fast forward to today, the aforementioned things are now a constant in the NBA and fans have gotten used to them as a normal thing.
The former All-Star backed up West’s point that players don’t have enough resources. When players were injured back then, some of them were forced to play because they didn’t have the luxury of world-class medical treatment compared to what players have today. .
The shoes were also different. Most players had Converse Chuck Taylors as their basketball shoes. If you’ve ever played with it, you know how much it hurts.
It’s never a good idea to compare current players to those who paved the way and had the experience of doing all the hard work. Redick’s take may seem valid to some, but BJ Armstrong makes the case for stopping player comparison. People can always argue over who is the greatest, but it’s best not to discredit those who have done all the hard work.