Which Classic Member of the NBA’s Top 75 Players Would Adjust the Best to the Modern NBA?

The Knicks are brutal to talk about, so let’s talk about something more fun.

Here is a list of the NBA’s pick for their Top 75 players of all-time (they actually picked 76 because of a tie. Sure there was a tie. Suuuue there was).

We all know George Mikan is the answer to the classic player who would adjust the worst to the modern NBA, but which of the classic players (classic, for the sake of this question, will be anyone who retired before Lebron James entered the league) do you think would adjust the best to the modern NBA?

I vote Wilt. Size plays in any era and certain aspects of Wilt’s game, like his assists and his outside shooting, would be even more important today (especially the outside shooting, as he’d obviously be shooting threes today). His free throw shooting was poor, but overall, I think he would be just as dominant today as he was back in the old days. Just look at a Joel Embiid for the basic idea.

That’s my pick – but what’s yours?

12 replies on “Which Classic Member of the NBA’s Top 75 Players Would Adjust the Best to the Modern NBA?”

How are we defining classic, Brian? What’s the cutoff? Like, Jordan could be the answer, simply because he would have been practicing his three-point shot since childhood, and the rest of his game was already perfect. Or Ewing — who was mocked at the time for his jump shooting — probably could have extended his range a bit to be an unstoppable stretch 5. But are we limiting ourselves just to 50s/60s/70s stars?

” (classic, for the sake of this question, will be anyone who retired before Lebron James entered the league)”

So sure, you want to pick Jordan, go for it!

Wasn’t Arvydas Sabonis Nikola Jokic before Nikola Jokic?

On another note, I cannot help but feel that the Knicks FO made perhaps its largest mistake not locking up Mitch. He’s the best player on the team by a wide margin at this point. He’s 23. And he can and may walk for nothing. The signings this summer can be forgiven. We were all gaga over the Kemba deal. The incinerated pick is minor although weird. But not locking up your best young player to a long term contract and then having him leave with no compensation. That is, frankly, fireable. Am I overreacting?

Brian Cronin:
” (classic, for the sake of this question, will be anyone who retired before Lebron James entered the league)”

Now I am every asshole who never reads the introductions to my articles. Way to go, Alan. Way. To. Go.

I’m having a hard time not picturing Jordan being even more dominant. If he was dominant in the 90s with all that physicality, how come he wouldn’t be even better in a time when you can’t touch the James Hardens of the world. This was my brain speaking. In my heart i go with Alan… the great PATRICK EWING! 🙂
Still waiting to see a player as dominant as Ewing wearing orange and blue.

Prime Jordan would be the best player in the NBA today. The only embedded assumption there is that growing up 30 years later, he would have worked on his 3-ball from youth and had the 3-ball talent that people of his overall talent have.

The last couple possessions of his (real) career are his overall career in a nutshell. In big playoff games in the fourth quarter, his team would give him the ball and no matter what they other team did, they couldn’t stop him. There’s no reason whatsoever that wouldn’t seamlessly port to today, particularly when we remember that, as cyber noted, defenses could be much more handsy BITD. On the other side of the ball, he was an ultra-elite defender in every dimension and still would be today.

I’d trade Giannis or Jokic, great as they are, for time traveled Jordan, no questions asked.

I won’t front, I thought Jordan retired after Lebron’s rookie year and so was planning on that eliminating Jordan as an option. 😉

It’s kind of crazy, in retrospect, that Jordan’s career literally ended right as Lebron’s started. That’s some eerie shit right there.

I’m thinking of it in maybe slightly different terms. I think most of the top 75 would adjust perfectly. But there are some guys who would probably be even better if they were in this era.

Bird and Magic, for instance. Imagine those two guys with space on the court!

I think Barkley would dominate even more, too.

I think Bird and Reggie Miller are the guys that leap to mind. They would wake up in 2022 and be like, sure, I should double my 3pr. I think KG’s defense might be even more valuable in this era and he was amazing in his.

I gotta say, it’s not actually the best list. And not just because Manu isn’t on it. I don’t know that I would have put Dame on the list over Klay Thompson.

I think most of the great players of the 80s and 90s would probably be able to dominate in today’s NBA. Bird for sure. I imagine Olajuwon would find a way too.

Another question could be: which player from the 80s and 90s would have made the top 75 if only they had played in the modern NBA? Chris Mullin? Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf? Jeff Hornacek? Jack Sikma? Dana Barros?

Yeah, Mark Price would have had a 65% ts%.

There are a few guys who I don’t think would be great in the current day and age but I’m not naming names.

Jerry Lucas would have been amazing today’s game, maybe the first true stretch 4-5….

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