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?
14. “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” by Will Smith
Smith twisted the term “jiggy” into something more than the meaning of “stylish,” but holding its older definition, guys like Allen Iverson changed the style of the NBA. Tattoos, sweatbands and compression sleeves became a fashion statement more than necessary apparel. The NBA eventually banned leg sleeves and forced players to dress within code, both pregame and postgame, which has given hoops fans another form of baller style to think about.
19. “Been Around The World” by Puff Daddy & The Family
Not only has Puff Daddy‘s name become more PC since the 1998 lockout, but the NBA has gone all international, scouting prospects all over the world. Just before the lockout, the Milwaukee Bucks picked some dude named Dirk Nowitzki in the draft and traded him to Dallas. That turned out well. In 2011, five of the first seven players chosen were born outside the good ol’ USA, and international players are no longer considered unknowns.
23. “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” by Aerosmith
Jersey companies and fans have taken advantage of technology. With the influx of high definition television (and soon 3D), the viewer experience has put NBA games in our living rooms, almost literally. Meanwhile, the fashion injury has the added advantage of every detail of the product being seen, even to those not up close and in the arena. With HD, you can’t miss a thing. We didn’t have that in 1998.
35. “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba
I thought the name of this song was “I Get Knocked Down” or something like that. For everyones sake, here’s to hoping that the NBA and players get this thing back up again. You’re never going to keep them down.
What were you listening to in 1998?
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