In recent months, we've seen more and more NBA fans creating hypothetical scenarios, often comparing players from this era and the 90s and 2000s days. Things have changed a lot from 30 years ago and a lot of people don't seem to understand that. Still, plenty of them insist to compare players from different eras and making the case for their favorite players whenever they can.
For instance, the GOAT debate is one of the most recurrent topics in the NBA but that's not the only discussion taking place among fans. There is another one that also involves LeBron James and how he would fare if he played in the 90s. Most people think he wouldn't stand a chance with all the physical games they played back in the day and to make put things into perspective, these fans believe he would be locked down by Dennis Rodman.
Rodman was one of the biggest defenders and rebounders in the league during his best days, which has led a lot of people to believe this. However, Gilbert Arenas doesn't think that's actually true. The Washington Wizards icon recently gave his two pennies on this situation, explaining why Rodman wouldn't have anything to do with King James (0:24).
“Dennis Rodman, a 6’7, 210-pound guy, wouldn’t be stopping LeBron James. Let it go… He’s a point guard. You were great at defending people whose back is to the basket. He’s going downhill. Your brute strength has no bearing on downhill guards… The defensive guards back in the day, you get the hand check.”
Arenas went on to explain that hand checking wouldn't have the same effect today that it had back in the day. Why? Because now guards aren't creating plays only for their big man; their style of play has changed and that will be a nightmare for 90s defenders.
“Well, the hand check worked because the guard wasn’t scoring, he was a set-up guy. So he’s sitting there with his back to the basket trying to get this offense, get it to the big man down low. So it’s easy to just you know hand check a guy who’s not moving anywhere.”
Arenas is a very good friend of LeBron but he always made it clear that the differences between eras would make things easier for the King, actually, contrary to what many people around the world believe. Rodman was one of the best defenders in the league, that's true, but Agent Zero doesn't think that would have been enough to stop one of the biggest forces the NBA has seen.