I remember back in the late 90s/early 00s, players who weren't as good defensively were often criticized and being bench scorers was a good enough gig for many of them. Teams like the nuggets and warriors who were teams who cared about scoring a lot more than they did about stopping the other team from scoring were the exception, not the rule which is why they were always used as examples of teams who would never win no matter how good their offense was.
I feel a lot of those weak defenders in all truth wouldn't stick out like a sore thumb today. FIBA players who had troubles keeping up with the NBA standard of defending to the point they would last a couple of years in the league and leave still exist today but a lot of them stay because they're not so different from your average defender in 2010s NBA. I feel most of those who played NBA basketball back then would manage to build a decent career in today's NBA (as long as they were good enough scorers/playmakers/rebounders). While there are still amazing defenders in the league, there seem to be so many players who just don't try/care enough defensively.
I'm not saying players are worse nowadays because obviously they keep improving and have better training conditions to be better prepared physically and skill-wise.
This is not a "back in the day things were better" nostalgia-fueled rant either because to be fair I grew up with a league where it was all about fast breaks and extra passes that basically stopped working as frequently with the defensive intensity increase a few years later.
And I actually liked that. You knew players who still made those great plays were good.
All star games were always fun but they were exhibition games made to entertain the fans. They were ok once a year but that's it.
Too many players defend like they're in an all star game, in actual regular season games. I'd like not to notice it but I do. I'm also aware pretty much everyone has insane shooting range in 2018 and they didn't in 2001. I know the game is different.
I know I'll keep watching because I'm obsessed with it but I just wish sometimes things were different.
Ok, so it was a nostalgia rant after all but I've already written too much to delete the whole thing now so I'll just hit send anyway.
tl; dr: pepperidge farm remembers.