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There are two debates that will forever engulf NBA fans – who is the greatest basketball player of all time and which era of basketball was better?
Gary Payton recently weighed in on the latter.
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The Basketball Hall of Famer and nine-time All-Star said in an interview with the Boardroom he believes the style of basketball played in the 1990s was the best era for the sport. He expressed how he wasn’t a big fan of the way the game has evolved into more fast breaks and long-distance shooting.
“It’s different because we were in a different era. Our era was us taking pride in more than one thing; this era is about scoring. Our era was about defense, being rough, getting out there, and getting it done,” Payton said.
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“This era is about shooting threes, getting up and down, and entertainment. It is what it is, and I can’t knock anyone for it. We might have our opinion about it and judge it, but I played in what I think was the best era ever. I think the ’90s was the best era ever.”
Payton was the No. 2 overall pick of the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1990 NBA Draft and immediately became a defensive force on the team. He was a nine-time First Team All-Defensive Team while on the Sonics and helped the team to the NBA Finals in 1996 before losing to the Chicago Bulls.
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Payton would win his only ring as a member of the Miami Heat in 2006.