Julius Erving comes from an era of hard nose basketball and it now seems he doesn’t believe today’s game is a reflection of that time.
The hall of famer appeared this week on CBS Sports’ “Nothing Personal with David Samson.” One topic Erving spoke on was the differences between his era, when players had to fly commercial and room with teammates, and the privileges enjoyed by players in the modern era.
“That was the good old days, it kept the humility intact,” said Erving. “You felt honored to be a professional athlete and not privileged because there were just some things you just had to suck it up and go do. We depended a lot on our trainers and equipment managers and what have you to move the franchise from city to city.
“You always had to catch the first flight out the next morning so we didn’t have a lot of the conveniences they have today,” Erving added. “But that’s okay. I think it’s made some of the players a little softer than the ’70s, ’80s, ’60s and ’50s players. But there’s fan appreciation for the softness and the finesse, and it is what it is.”
Erving may come off being harsh here but he needs to realize the game was at a different place back then. The NBA playing style has evolved to involve more shooting compared to the previous eras where physicality and dominance in the paint were of more importance. While Erving believe the game has gotten softer, it has actually become a sport where you need to be more athletic and skillful to stay in the league today.