A XAVERIAN TAKE: A NEW ERA OF BASKETBALL

The “PG era”. A common term used by disappointed and former World Wrestling Entertainment(WWE) fans to differentiate today’s WWE from the WWE they grew up with around 10 years ago.

Ever since the WWE made its huge switch from TV-14 to PG we have notice a lot of intolerable and disappointing changes throughout its shows. First off, the segments on the show were not as funny anymore since they had to watch their languages. Stone Cold can’t even do his trademark entrance of raising his two middle fingers in the air anymore when he returns to the show; instead he just raises his two fists in the air. It made John Cena change the name of what used to be my favorite finishing move “F-U” into “Attitude Adjustment”. No more sledgehammers to the face by Triple H. No more overflowing blood on the wrestlers face. No more of those “very hot” matches from our favorite divas.

Long before the WWE came to its “PG era”, the NBA has been slowly losing its entertaining, yet violent action. Long gone were the days of basketball where we would see our favorite players exchanging words all throughout the game and vigorously exchanging elbows and even fists at times, and the historic Knicks-Heat rivalry back in the late 90’s where you could expect an extremely heated 48 minutes unlike any other basketball game we could watch today. It was a time where a lot of players really hated each other. To give you an idea of how much some of them hated each other, here is a statement by the former Miami guard Tim Hardaway talking about the New York Knicks in an interview back then “I hate them with all the hate you can hate with. Can you hate more than that? If you can, I hate them more than that.”

Back then, Julius Erving and Larry Bird went sparring during a playoff game. The Detroit Pistons tried to beat the living soul out of Michael Jordan in every playoff game with their hard fouls. Shaquille O’neal and Charles Barkley went UFC style in one game. Reggie Miller’s trash talk was unlike any other, which led him to his own share of fights with great players as well. The fights seemed to get so out of hand at times that even the coach like Jeff Van Gundy had to cling on Alonzo Mourning’s leg just to try and stop a fight.

Here’s a video of some of the most memorable and outrageous fights in the NBA for our entertainment.

In today’s era, we don’t really come across those kinds of fights anymore. Except in a few cases with Metta World Peace or Kevin Garnett, who are one of the few players remaining who were part of that amazing and violent era. Players today are becoming friends. Lebron, Durant, and Kobe are good friends now after teaming up in the national team. All the superstars are trying to team up with each other to have an easier road to a title. There are no heated rivalries between teams anymore like they had in the past. Such heavily anticipated team rivalries in the past like the Knicks-Heat, Knicks-Pacers, Bulls-Pacers, Bulls-Pistons, Bulls-Knicks, Lakers-Celtics, etc.

Instead of rivalries and fights though, the NBA is still a big hit and is very exciting to watch thanks to its deeper talent pool. There are more and more talented players coming in every year who bring a new kind of excitement to the game. In today’s NBA, we don’t see fights as much anymore, but we do get to see more highlight plays and dunks than we used to. More quality basketball in other words.

No more boxing and wrestling on the court that leads to suspensions. Just great quality basketball, and I guess this new era in the NBA seem to be better for the sport and for the kids watching around the world.

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