Adam Silver says the NBA was too physical in the 1990s

NBA commissioner Adam Silver believes the league was too physical in the 1990s.

Speaking to Kevin Garnett on his KG Certified show, Silver highlighted how the NBA was once fraught with excessive physicality. So much so that they denied the talented offensive players they had to offer.

For example, he argues that if players could simply knock Stephen Curry to the ground without consequence, it would be worse basketball.

“I’m going to answer that from the fan in me that’s there, and maybe the data comes in here because I can look at the data and other metrics of interest,” Silver said. “There was a point, I think probably in the late ’90s, when the game got too physical. Yes, and I think for our fans. From the aesthetic pleasure of the game, where it emphasized the particular skill of the player and perhaps too demanding physically. Where a big, strong player can come in and stop an incredibly skilled player from doing things like that.

I think he’s not a small guy, but a smaller player like Steph Curry can do that on the floor. His shooting ability, his ability to move through the paint. if guys can just hit him and knock him down like they did in the league at one time, I don’t think that would be a better brand of basketball. “.

Silver believes physics is still relevant in the NBA

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 05: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver (L) awards Joel Embiid (R) #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers with the 2022-23 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Trophy before Game 3 of the Eastern Conference second round playoffs.  Boston Celtics at Wells Fargo Center on May 05, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  NOTE TO USER:  User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photo, User agrees to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The commissioner also emphasized how defense will always be a priority. He understands that fans don’t want to see players score goals without effort. Furthermore, he addressed how the NBA has adapted to the way players manipulate the rules.

“I also think we have to find the right balance, because I know that sometimes when I sit in the stands or talk to friends, they want to bring back and we tried to bring back a little bit more physicality.” Silver added: “Like I think people like to see tough defense. I mean, it goes back a little bit to what you and I were talking about, like touch and feel. I don’t think people like the idea that guys can get by unscathed and you protect your star players.

And actually, we made some changes this season where the unnatural basketball moves. Where they are, players have somehow gamed the system. Brilliant players. By playing by the rules, they found ways to turn them into defensive fouls. So we’re resetting this year, which is what you need to do in the offseason. You don’t want to change mid-course. But we made it clear to those players that it would no longer be a violation. And of course, because they are great players, they adapt and find other ways to score.”

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