With ESPN’s “The Last Dance” dominating sports talk during the NBA’s hiatus due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the debate about how players would perform during different eras has been raging.
Former Chicago Bulls point guard, three-time NBA champion and teammate of Michael Jordan, B.J. Armstrong, weighed in during an appearance on ESPN’s First Take (h/t Bleacher Report’s Rob Goldberg) and said a current Golden State Warrior would have fit in best during his era:
“One the players I think would excel most in that era would be Klay Thompson. Klay Thompson, I think, is equipped to play in that era because of the way he plays. He’s a big guard, I think he has some physicality of the game and he played the game in the way that they all played. We ran plays where the 2-guard had to provide spacing and you had to be able to take your matchup. I think he was big enough to take that matchup every single night. I just think he would be a player that would fit into that era beautifully because of how he plays the game now. I think it translates.”
Armstrong added that he would take Klay over players like LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard, because Thompson’s prototypical game as 2-guard would have translated to the style that was played in the 90s.
Thompson is a five-time NBA All-Star known for his dead-eye shooting and tenacious defense. He averaged more than 20 points per game from 2014 through 2019, helping the Dubs win three championships.
I love Klay’s game and can see why Armstrong feels his skillset transfers so well to the 90s. But, I can’t help but think of what Steph Curry would have been like playing 25 years ago. Yes, the 3-point shot wasn’t as prevalent then as it is in today’s NBA game, but I don’t know how many players would have been able to chase Curry through screens on the offensive end.
Although Curry isn’t on the same level of Thompson defensively, I find it hard to believe he would look out of place guarding some of the smaller point guards that were in the league.
What do you think of Armstrong’s comments? Which current player’s game do you think translates best to the slow, grinding style of the 90s?
On to some more links:
Speaking of Steph’s defense, L.A. Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley responded to a Bleacher Report tweet comparing the Warriors and Bulls dynasties. (h/t NBC Bay Area’s Drew Shiller)
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has an amazing story. Esquire revisits his father’s tragic murder and the impact it had on Kerr as a player and coach.
Former Warriors All-Star Tim Hardaway was awesome during his stint in the Bay Area. He caught up with Kelenna Azubuike of Warriors.com to discuss his time with the organization during a Virtual Happy Hour.c
The Dubs have plenty of assets to load up for another championship run. Alex Didion of NBC Bay Area proposes a hypothetical trade that lands a big man from the Eastern Conference.