Originally Posted by Slyder
I haven't followed the NBA since Kwame Brown was the #1 pick and the entire eastern division changed coaches in a year. Because it seemed like NBA teams were stuck on stupid and drafting on "potential" but not giving the coaches the time to fulfill that potential or being overrated hacks to begin with. For every LeBron or Kobe you had 5 Kwame Browns and it damaged the quality of the league.
The problem with the league in that era was the following:
1) Unlikeable/Not-Exciting superstars: See: Tracy McGrady, Vince, Kidd, Shaq, Webber, Iverson, etc...
2) The league had reached the apex of oppressive defense. "Hand checking" (also known as fouling) was allowed to go on to a horrific extent. In 1998-1999, teams averaged 91.6 ppg and only the Kings topped 100 ppg. It was atrocious to watch. Eleven teams average 100 ppg this season.
3) Bad Rules: The NBA has been very proactive recently in improving the game. They eliminated hand checking, allowing guards to dribble. They put in the anti-Barkley 5 second rule (called recently on Wade) to stop entire offensive possessions from being one 20 second back down. They allowed zone, which has made isolation basketball a much more inefficient way to play.
So, I'm not sure it was bad coaching or bad development, I think it was a perception and rules issue that made the league tough to watch. Now, the league has likeable superstars and has largely cleaned up the game, making it great to watch.