Ever get tired of the year 2017 and wish that you could travel back to a simpler time when athletes only made nine-digits and the NBA MVP didn’t dress like Mayim Bialik in Blossom?
With our Hoops Rumors Retro series you can.
Earlier this year we started experimenting with the idea of bringing back a transaction retrospective that shed a light on significant roster moves that helped shape the NBA landscape. In January, for example, I wrote about the mid-season trade that brought Dikembe Mutombo to a scary Sixers team in 2001 and another that sent Gary Payton to Milwaukee, inspiring half a season’s worth of unnatural photo ops in Bucks purple.
We were pleased with the reception that the pieces got at the time and have decided to bring them back into our rotation. I can’t be the only one, after all, who spent late August tweeting out pictures of Patrick Ewing in a Magic jersey while NBA Twitter and the blogosphere at large channeled their attention on the Isaiah Thomas–Kyrie Irving swap.
The truth is, the NBA is awesome. But it’s not just awesome now — it’s always been awesome. The only difference is the influx of content on the internet and how readily available everything is 24/7. How would the hoops world of 20, even 15 years ago, look through the lens of modern media? Imagine David Robinson‘s Instagram feed (trust me, it’s just colorized images of historic sea vessels) or Rik Smits‘ undoubtedly risqué Snapchat stories.
Back in the nineties, we didn’t have social media news or, sadly, even Hoops Rumors to whet our appetite for basketball news but that didn’t stop kids around the world from absorbing the game in any way that they could, even if that meant inferring the Stephon Marbury–Sam Cassell trade from a pack of basketball cards months after the fact because the last thing that they would ever broadcast on basic Canadian cable was a New Jersey Nets game circa 1999. What? No. Who’s bitter? You’re bitter.
Consider Hoops Rumors Retro, then, a series that pays homage to the landmark moments of yesteryear that never got the full internet treatment. It may have been a simpler time with less endless noise and narcissistic hot takes, sure, but think of the hours-long Basketball Reference deep dives we’d be losing. Or the unexpected Woj Bombs. Heck, if Alonzo Mourning ever got up on stage and started dancing at a Digital Underground concert, would anybody outside of the venue even know about it?
It’s almost enough to give these crazy kids a pass for fraternizing with their supposed division rivals on the red carpet of a fashion show.
Below is a list of the Hoops Rumors Retro pieces we’ve run this year. Including the latest from just last week. If you have any suggestions for particularly memorable moments that you’d like to see brought to life in a feature, let us know in the comments below or by harassing me on Twitter.