The New Perspective of 1970s NBA Basketball
When it comes to basketball in the 1970s, we always connect it to some bad things. We connect it to poor ratings and drug issues that it had at the time. Despite those bad aspects, we also have to remember the history and impact it had on today’s NBA. There were many superstars, changes, and events that happened then that has impacted us today. This will give us a new perspective on how we see basketball in the 1970s.
One of the biggest superstars during the 1970s is the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angles Lakers center, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, where he won five of his six league MVPs in the 1970s. Another superstar in this era is Utah Jazz guard, “Pistol” Pete Maravich, whose flashy style of play inspired many players that we see today. A lot of stars came from championship teams. This includes the duos of Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld of the Washington Bullets and John Havlicek and Dave Cowens of the Boston Celtics. We can also include Jerry West, Walt Fraizer, Bill Walton, and Rick Barry who all led their teams to championships.
During the 1970s, one of the main events that happened is that we never saw a true dynasty during the decade. With the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics each getting only two, which was the most during the decade. This meant that the NBA was at an even playing field with a lot of teams winning championships. This includes the Milwaukee Bucks, the Portland Trail Blazers, the Washington Bullets, and the Seattle Supersonics. Another event was the Los Angles Lakers record 33-game winning streak. This is a record that still holds today and one that would be hard to break. Then, game 5 of the 1976 Finals helped changed the rule book that is still in effect today.
The NBA saw some changes in the 1970s that we still see in today’s game. For instance, after game 5 of the 1976 NBA Finals, they were able to change the technical foul rules to where the team that got fouled would get the ball back. This prevented the loophole that happened in those finals where the Suns got a free timeout which gave them time to hit the game-tying shot. One of the biggest changes we saw was the NBA-ABA Merger in 1976. Where the NBA added the Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Brooklyn Nets, and San Antonio Spurs. The 1970s also gave us the implication of the three-point line in the NBA and it has changed the way we see the NBA play offense.
With the 1970s era of basketball, a lot of events and changes that happened then are still affecting us. Unfortunately, it’s events was overshadowed by all the unfortunate events that were going on in the league at the time. The reason for how it got that reputation is unknown, but it shouldn’t be the focus of that era. Everything that happened then has helped the NBA for better. That’s what the 1970s era should be remembered for.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images