Ahh yes, the NBA’s 1980s. The 1980s was truly one of the most memorable decades in NBA history. This decade has brought forth future Hall of Famers into the limelight, and eventually into the championship picture of the 90s. These were the decades wherein the names of Air Jordan, Isiah, Sir Charles, Stockton, The Mailman, The Admiral, Patrick, and The Dream came into prominence. These were the years when Bird and Magic pinnacled their careers by introducing the world to a plethora of talent. If you anyone older than 60, they would automatically say that these were indeed the best years of the NBA.
For the casual fans out there, the NBA then was actually quite similar in terms of plays style to as it is now. If the 90s were all about hand-checks, suffocating defense, and control-freak coaches (thanks to the desperation brought about by the beating that Bulls had given the league), the 80s were a fluid era. Don’t get us wrong. When we say fluid, we don’t really mean that the game was soft. As a matter of fact, it was nowhere near soft. It was fluid because the game was always moving on the offense not only on the court but also off of it.
The draft lottery, the NBA All-Star Weekend, and the colorful personalities brought about by evenly balanced teams were bringing more and more eyes to the court. Then there is of course the 80s holy trinity of Magic, Bird, and Jordan. The first two were veterans on the way out and enjoying the ride, while the last was an up and coming kid looking to build an empire. Of course, there were also the likes of Barkley, who captivated the audience on and off the court with his honest personality. Isiah, who kept the point-guard standard and made it work to win multiple championships. Many more superstars characterized and helped the sport to grow during the 80s. These were only the most notable ones with regards to on and off the court influence. You see, if we were to catalog all of the players and all of their achievements, we might never be finished.
Another thing that made the 80s special was that the teams were balanced. Without the introduction of the concept of a super team yet, NBA team managers and coaches had to grind and work day in and day out trying to improve their lineups with what they already have. You name the team, we for sure can name someone who is a Hall of Famer who made them a contender during the 80s. The Bulls had MJ. The Lakers had Magic. Boston had Larry. Philly had Dr. J. The Pistons had Isiah. Atlanta had Dominique. Houston had Hakeem. The list goes on and on. It just goes to show that the game was in balance and anyone had a shot at the championship. This also meant that the game was tough. The NBA then was tough as nails.
1980s Basketball Quiz
For you to find out more about that, take the quiz to test your 1980s NBA knowledge. Let’s see how you do.