Comparing Teams throughout the Decades
Some say teams of prior decades are automatically much better (talent wise) then the teams of today due to the expansion teams over the years (i.e. watered down league).
I disagree, as I don't see how just a few expansion teams can make that much of an impact. I believe older teams merely look better due to a decrepitude of fundamentals and an increase in complicated defense.
But then again, the 80's Celtics had four or five HoF'ers at one point.
Re: Comparing Teams throughout the Decades
As leagues become more popular, get more media attention,and fans proliferate, more young people will be interested in pursuing that particular sport. Some percentage will become good enough to play professionally and so there will be more athletes to choose from as leagues expand. Also, we're seeing the outstanding strides foreign athletes have made and now they're playing here. Also, many kids are starting their sports careers earlier and with better training. 40-50 years ago, no kid wanted to be a professional basketball player, nor even a pro baseball player. If you just happened to be good at it later on, so be it, otherwise it was just entertainment.
On the reverse side, imagine how big a soccer power the US would be if we didn't have baseball, football, basketball to pull away potential soccer stars.