Here we are again. It feels like just yesterday when a lockout starved fans of most of the 1998-99 season. Since then, there have been too many storylines to keep complete track of, but some things never change. The players and the NBA management butting heads is happening all over again.
Though some parts of human nature – greed – never change, pop music doesn’t stop and wait for David Stern to give in to demands. Looking back, here’s some top hits of 1998 and what the song titles can lend in knowledge about the basketball world comparing then and now.
Taken from the Billboard Top 100, what were you listening to in 1998 while you sat on the couch, without Twitter, without your iPad and without NBA basketball?
1. “Too Close” by Next
The lockout also coincided with the end of possibly the most physical era of NBA basketball. “Too close,” said Mr. Stern. From 1999 through 2004, multiple rules were issued to stop the physicality of the game. They prohibited hand checking, forearm use and “re-routing” of the offensive player by the defender, an obvious effort to provide more high-scoring games. Of course, defense still wins championships.
3. “You’re Still The One” by Shania Twain
The season before the lockout, Michael Jordan retired for the last time as a Chicago Bull (we won’t count that whole Washington Wizards thing) as the best player in world at the time and the best of his era. Since, we’ve been looking for the “next Jordan” – Penny, Grant Hill, LeBron – and we still haven’t found him. He’s still the one.
11. “How’s It Going To Be” by Third Eye Blind
Who knew how it was going to be? The shortened season following the lockout saw the San Antonio Spurs win their first of four NBA Championships, the beginning of the Gregg Popovich/Tim Duncan stronghold on the league. They’ve consistently been one of the best playoffs teams since. Are they done winning titles yet?