With the most exciting NBA Playoffs in years underway, it’s easy to get caught up in the kind of “greatest playoffs ever” hyperbole that has already begun to make its way into the discourse. While it’s easy to get caught up in the phenomenon of recency and suggest that whatever is freshest in the mind is the best ever, fans should not forget that there was an era before LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

This probably comes to a shock to many of you young fans but there was a time—before press conference fashion shows, Twitter groupies, and flopping big men—when the NBA was actually about basketball. There was no “search for the next Michael Jordan” because the man himself was draining midrange jumpers and rattling backboards on a nightly basis. The Miami Heat’s “Big Three” was Tim Hardaway, Alonzo Mourning, and “Thunder” Dan Majerle. When people said teams “brawled,” it’s because they actually did.

We are, naturally, referring to the 1990s. It was an interesting time in that eras were colliding, the game was evolving, and some of the best basketball in league history was being played. While the playoffs are always an entertaining watch, there’s something about those ‘90s games that is especially gripping. Here are 15 Reasons Why the NBA Playoffs Were Better in the '90s.

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