NBA basketball today is much different than it used to be. The game is faster, lighter, and smaller as old-school big-man methods have been replaced by guards who are keen on shooting from the perimeter.
Perhaps nothing reflects these changes more than the comments made by former bigs on modern times. In a virtual meeting between Karl Malone, Shaquille O’Neal, John Stockton, Patrick Ewing, and others, they discussed Draymond Green in particular and how his game vastly differs from their own.
“In this era, the big guy don’t do what we did. They out there shooting three’s and they want to be perimeter guys,” said Shaq.
There was unanimous agreement on that point as Wilkins simply called him “too small.” Ahmad Rashad, the former NBC journalist and a close friend of MJ, also chimed in.
“We know that happens as you get older, people don’t remember,” Rashad continued. “If they’ve never seen you play, they don’t know how big you guys were. They don’t know how big the league was at that time. All these rivalries that you guys had. And every team had stars. It was a great time for basketball.”
All of this follows Draymond making public comments against these big guys, saying he and Steph would’ve ‘destroyed’ Shaq on the pick-and-roll. Clearly, there is a lot of tension between the two sides and both feel they have an advantage over the other.
Interestingly enough, both sides may be right in their own way. Steph and Dray were masters of the pick and roll and Green seems to be much quicker and more mobile than any bigs in years past. When it comes to size, though, Green sorely lacks and he would have been wrecked trying to guard O’Neal in the paint.
But, whatever your opinions on the matter, it seems the old-school legends have already made up their mind.