“These Kids Don’t Even Have A Clue”: Michael Jordan’s Comparison Of Physicality Across Eras Gets Showcased By Shaquille O’Neal


Shaquille O'Neal is known for using Instagram to share his opinions and posts that align with his views. Recently, he shared a clip from a decade ago featuring Michael Jordan discussing the physicality of the NBA during their playing days. 

In an interview promoting NBA 2K14, Jordan emphasized how much more physical the game was in the past compared to the present. He highlighted the lack of checks and screens in today's game, stating that in their time, players always had to pay a price for being aggressive. 

Jordan spoke from personal experience, recalling the brutal punishment he endured at the hands of the Detroit Pistons during the late 1980s.


The debate about physicality in the NBA has been ongoing for years and was reignited when JJ Redick made controversial comments about Larry Bird's three-point shooting skills. Dominique Wilkins, a Hall of Famer, fired back at Redick, emphasizing the physicality that was prevalent in their era. He pointed out how defenders could put their hands on an opponent's hip or use their elbow to slow them down, making it challenging to handle such pressure.

Unlike in the past, today's NBA is more protective, and physical altercations are less common. The "hard foul," where players intentionally use extra strength to prevent an opponent from scoring, is now rare.


By sharing Jordan's post, it can be inferred that O'Neal agrees with the lack of physicality in the modern NBA. 

As one of the most dominant forces in NBA history, O'Neal claims that he would be just as dominant in today's era due to its reduced physicality.

Some critics argue that O'Neal's style of play would struggle in the current era, which focuses on three-point shooting and creating opportunities near the rim. 

However, O'Neal disagrees, comparing himself to Giannis Antetokounmpo, who relies heavily on his physicality to score points. O'Neal believes that if he were playing today, he would bring his length, athleticism, and passing ability similar to the Greek Freak, making him even more difficult to contain.


In conclusion, O'Neal and Jordan's shared belief in the decline of physicality in the NBA indicates that the game has changed significantly. While some argue that O'Neal's dominance may not translate into the modern era, he remains confident in his abilities and believes he would excel in today's less physical game.