A leader of the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons, Bill Laimbeer played on one of the greatest teams in NBA history. He also played against an angry and ascending Michael Jordan.
But Laimbeer said that LeBron James, if inserted into that time, might have been the best player of his era.
“There was no one physically like him in our time slot,” Laimbeer said in this Sports Illustrated interview.
The interview comes after ESPN premiered its 30 for 30 documentary on the “Bad Boy” Pistons. LeBron was watching and getting fired up for the Miami Heat’s playoff series against the Charlotte Bobcats Sunday. No doubt, any compliment from a leader of one of the most great, physical teams in the NBA history should be noted.
I never appreciate when people say things like “these guys would never last in the 80’s” when speaking of today’s NBA players. Sure, they game isn’t as physical, they do more wining to referees, get paid more and are more aware/concerned with their image. But that speaks more to the evolution of our country more than the NBA player.
As far as the players go, do you really think a 6-foot-9, 260 pound LeBron James who can run a 40-yard-dash in 4.4 seconds wouldn’t be as good, IF NOT BETTER, in a more physical NBA? Do you really want that thing to be unleashed in an era where refs let the guys play? I see an argument where LeBron might have been better in the 80’s than he is now!
Anyway, that’s probably as I will ever get to talking basketball with Bill Laimbeer.