Those teams you mentioned were not defined by their nick names or identity...the players played and won a specific way and EARNED that identity. The key being the PLAYERS. The Bronx Bombers could call themselves that all day but without homerun hitters it would be some random nickname without meaning.
You are not ahead of the curve...you are looking backwards whether it be the 90's Knicks or old school Yanks. You act as if you and the other pessimists coined and own the importance of defense. It's a laughable strawman argument designed to paint your opposition as some how anti-defense. It's absurd and highlights your lack of an argument. We all know the importance of defense but you seem to forget that we have a 6'9 PF playing center, no true SG and no competent PG. Yet you would have us believe all the blame is to be laid on D'ants shoulders ignoring that his departure from the Suns did not lead to a lock down Suns defense. Even with Shaq they still played mediocre D at best and now without Shaq are once again one of the worst defensive teams in the league. Since D'ant is gone and they still play lackluster defensive us rational individuals can safely conclude it's because of the players not a system.