June 27, 2012 — "And there's a steal by Bird, underneath to D.J.," Johnny Most.
"Oh! And Jordan serves up the facial!" Marv Albert.
With Lebron James and the Miami Heat having just handled the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals, basketball in the U.S. has finally reached its end for the 2011-2012 season.
Our In The Post topic this week came to me upon watching game four of this year's finals, and it is one that some of you may agree with, and some may not.
The legendary commentaries above were not the only colorful things about basketball's heyday in the 80s and 90s...it was the players who played the game.
Today’s sports world has seen athletes undoubtedly become faster, bigger and stronger, but there is one thing that has seems to have fallen by the wayside...heart.
I may not have gotten to experience the entire spectrum of the NBA's best years, but I consider myself to be beyond blessed to have been witness to the twilight of hoops supremacy, headed by none other than the game's greatest ever, Michael Jordan.
With Jordan's final game-winning masterpiece in the 1998 NBA Finals came the departure of the league's golden years, exemplified the following season with a lockout.
Maybe I was just spoiled by the grandiose of Malone and Stockton vs. Jordan and Pippen, but with each passing season it gets harder and harder to find that same magic that existed not long ago on the comforts of my couch watching history etch itself through the pixels on the old tube.
Sure we've got superior athletes with unbelievable ability to put on display, but the passion for winning just doesn't shine the way it did within the eyes of today's stars.
If there are more of you who feel this way, perhaps there is a harsh reality that we must face...maybe there will never be another Magic, Bird or Jordan.
One can argue that players such as Kobe Bryant have a hand full of rings, and doesn't that make him as good as MJ?
Although Bryant is an amazing player, the fact is he never had to lace up his sneakers against Jordan, Bird or Johnson. It may have been a different era, but all of today's champions have never faced individuals with such a desire to win.
Compete against supreme athleticism? Yes. Compete against players with the heart of a lion? In my opinion, no.
This post is not meant to discount the achievements of the Kobes and Lebrons of today, but simply ask the question, "Where's the fire?"
Watching this year’s NBA Finals, onlookers could see a lack of hustle at times from what are supposed to be some of the game's best, and to me this is inexcusable.
Every play in championship matchup should be treated as if it could be your last, providing maximum effort to raise that desired championship trophy high like the greats who came before you.
All-in-all do we still watch the finals? Yes, and there are flashes of passionate play that sporadically come and go, but as an old NBA fan, I guess I just want more.
More than anything, this column was written for those who witnessed it, to remember those glory days, as well as for those who didn't to respect and admire how things once were in the NBA.
I hope you enjoyed the finals my friends as we bid farewell to another season on the court.
Here's to the good ole' days...
Grant Stevens can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.