For some people, some things will never be like they used to be.
Take the NBA during the late '80s and most of the '90s for example. Physical defense reigned supreme, which resulted in low-scoring games as offenses were restricted by the body bumping and hand checking that was common place. The NBA has since shifted dramatically from those days, hand checking is illegal and teams with fast-paced offenses, like the Golden State Warriors, thrive. Due to safety concerns, flagrant fouls are also given out more readily and players receive technicals almost instantly if they taunt an opponent or are too demonstrative after officials blow their whistle.
Because of this shift, a lot of former players frequently think that the current NBA is soft and simply not tough. Hall of Famer Gary Payton is one of these former players. In fact, Payton believes that if he played in the NBA today, he would constantly be fined for his hard-nosed and aggressive play.
I could never play basketball in this soft era. All of my contract money would go toward fines. Lol— Gary Payton (@GaryPayton_20) February 20, 2016
Payton picked up his fair share of fines throughout his career but he is quite right about what would happen if he played in the NBA nowadays. In his prime, Payton was a ruthless defender that would take great joy in talking trash to an opponent. And if he played now, his brashness would surely earn him his fair share of technicals and some serious money in fines.