"His Airness" Michael Jordan picked four modern-era players that could threaten his legacy and could survive the NBA of the 80s and 90s.

One of the biggest questions held against players in the modern era is if they could survive the 90s and early 2000s when the NBA was a lot more lenient with physicality. Michael Jordan shared his opinion when asked if anyone in the post 2010s NBA era could survive in the 80s and 90s.

'His Airness' Michael Jordan Has Spoken

FadeAway World reported that during an interview in 2013, Michael Jordan picked LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Dirk Nowitzki as the only players who could compete in his era.

"I can only come up with 4. LeBron, Kobe, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki," MJ said. His Airness identified the four players as the only players who would be nearly as successful in his era.

Despite not playing in MJ's era, LeBron James has shown the entire league how great he could be in any era of the NBA. In his almost two decades in the league, LeBron James has stolen several records away from Michael Jordan.

However, despite the comments made by MJ himself, most Americans think that Jordan is the GOAT or considered the Greatest Of All Time over LeBron James, primarily because they thought LeBron could not play in the 80s and the 90s and did not play in MJ's era.

Aside from LeBron James, the other three players showed that they weren't afraid of being physically challenged. Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki were built for the physical style of basketball, while Kobe Bryant's relentless attitude meant that he would overcome the physicality in any way possible.

Unlike in today's basketball, players could get away with possible fouls and playing a much more violent brand of basketball at the time.

As time went by, the NBA has discreetly intervened and given instructions to the referees on officiating the games to be a lot stricter by not allowing for much physicality. The adjustments are because the NBA realized that they need their superstars, who played a huge role in the league's popularity. Thus, protecting them from injuries and pain is essential to the league's sustained growth.

However, this brand of what they called "soft" basketball has been criticized by fans and analysts who experienced the 80s and 90s. It is the primary reason why analysts and fans took the greatness of players in the modern era with skepticism.

They think that these players could not perform at the same level with the kind of defense that was being played during the older era of the NBA, especially in the 80s and the 90s when Michael Jordan displayed his greatness.

Meanwhile, NBA today's fans argued that with today's playstyle, the kind of physical defense that it did in the 90s is no longer needed and outdated.

During the 90s, most dominant players would try to take the ball to the hole or get close to the paint to drain a mid-range jumper, whereas today's NBA game is more focused on perimeter shooting or even on a wider range.

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Breaking the 90s Defense

NBA Legend Kevin Garnett also shared his opinion about the difference between players in today's NBA and the 90s. With players like Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard playing in the modern era, Garnett said they have proven that playing strong defense on them would be a liability to the opposing team.

Both players proved that by contesting their shots, it only made a little to affect their incredible shooting range. More players adapted to the playstyle, and even LeBron James extended his arsenal to the logo area.

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Written by: Jess Smith

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