Today, basketball seems to be more so about signing major contracts, endorsements, and playing WITH the best competition. What happened to wanting to play the game you said you'd "play for free if you ever made it to the league?" What happened to wanting to play against the best competition to earn a championship? What happened to tough defense, hard fouls, and guys that could actually shoot the ball? What happened to our first love? What happened to basketball?
It's definitely not lost.
Yes, this era is different than the past, but the world changed it. From hyping high school players, and from iconic figures, basketball has changed. But, there are a lot of players who are students of the game. Others do it for the money, and that's fine, but you can tell who loves the game. Kobe loves the game, and is so passionate about it, he works 24/7. But, some people get complacent when they get in the league, and you'll definitely be able to tell.
Anyways, I lot of people have love for the game, or they love money. But, those who love the sport for it, are always the ones who are All-Stars, because they improve their game in the summers, while others are just waiting and sitting around for their next paycheck.