Former NBA players love to chime in about how current superstars would fare back in their era. Among the most targeted players is LeBron James, for one reason or another.
LeBron has been in the league since 2003, so it isn’t as if he didn’t play in a very different time, well before “pace and space” took hold. Rasheed Wallace played from 1995-2013, so LeBron was a star in the NBA for more than half of his career. Even so, Wallace, now an assistant coach at Memphis, took aim at LeBron this year.
During a recent appearance on the Million Dollaz Worth of Game podcast, Wallace said that James wouldn’t have had success in the more physical 1990s when he began his career. It is a regular refrain from the generation right before LeBron took over as the NBA’s best player.
“He probably would’ve done good with his physical stature, with him being bigger than the majority of the rest of the players,” Wallace said, via Lakers Daily. “So he probably would’ve held his own, but I don’t think he would be as successful as he is now. It’s a whole different era back then. I couldn’t necessarily say that he would’ve been a beast but I think he would’ve held his own.”
There are certainly differences between the 1996 NBA Game and the sport as we know it today. However, if anything, LeBron James’ physical dominance would have allowed him to slide right into the sport back then, even if he’d have to learn to deal with more contact and hand checking.
You could argue that LeBron made the bigger adjustment by remaining one of the greatest players in the world as the Steph Curry-led shooting revolution took hold.
None of that stops players like Wallace from trying to promote their own eras at the expense of current stars.