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George Gervin On Modern NBA Players: "Guys Are Sensitive. You See It All Over The League. Somebody Will Holler At Them From The Stands. They’ll Talk Back."

George Gervin On Modern NBA Players: "Guys Are Sensitive. You See It All Over The League. Somebody Will Holler At Them From The Stands. They’ll Talk Back."

Players from prior eras often criticize the modern-day NBA, especially how stars talk with each other. Old legends come from times when you couldn't think about being friends with a player from another team because that was 'weak.' Well, times have changed, although these former players won't ever accept that. 

San Antonio Spurs legend George Gervin has a lot to say about the current status of the league and the players. In recent times, fans have tried to troll players and nobody has taken that kindly. We're living in different times and stars won't hesitate to get hecklers removed from games. 

While talking with Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype, Gervin touched on the type of players the Spurs target on draft night, explaining that Gregg Popovich tends to pick players with characters, taking a shot at today's stars. 

GG: It’s got to be character and basketball sense. That’s what he goes after. He goes after guys who have character and basketball character. You can separate the two. I can attack your basketball character and not be attacking you personally. That’s where the separation is from great coaches. They’re the kind who will say: “Look here. If I’m getting on you, I’m getting on your basketball character. I ain’t attacking you personally.” When guys really understand that, it makes you appreciate that coaching better.

Guys are sensitive. You see it all over the league. Somebody will holler at them from the stands. They’ll talk back. When we came up, I wouldn’t give a guy an opportunity to know I recognized what he said. Now all of a sudden, he’s a part of the game. I wouldn’t give him that pleasure. I ain’t that sensitive. Ain’t nothing you can do to me. I think it’s just so important for guys to recognize that. Just don’t touch me. But say what you want to say. I don’t hear you. Because if I hear you, I ain’t focused on the game. That’s what Pop finds in his players.

We've seen fans going after players and the latter don't doubt to call the authorities to get them removed from arenas. LeBron James starred in a controversy with 'courtside Karen' last year; Somebody threw popcorn at Russell Westbrook during the 2021 NBA playoffs; Ja Morant's father was told racist slurs in Utah, Trae Young was spat on in New York and more. This week, Carmelo Anthony got a fan removed from a game after being called 'boy' repeatedly. 

Even though some would say players from different eras lived and heard harder stuff, it doesn't mean the new generations have to act like everything is fine when people are insulting them. NBA players do have character. Otherwise, they wouldn't be in the association. Rivalries will always exist, fans will try to get under rivals' skins, but the line need to be drawn somewhere.