Nostalgia is a hell of a drug. And according to Gilbert Arenas, anyone calling today’s NBA soft is affected by it.
We want to be stuck with the Michael Jordans, Magic Johnsons, and Larry Birds of the world, singling out the era they played in as the only right way to play basketball. What Arenas points out is, in the process, we’re neglecting the evolution of the game and how each NBA individual adjusts to it. So instead of admiration, all we’re left with is resentment towards greatness.
People, we look at Michael Jordan get to the gym three hours before. The next generation; four hours before. The next generation; six hours before. Kobe does two workouts a day, from six in the morning and at night; okay. The next generation hears those stories, now they want to add their little twist to it. So now, James Harden scores 60, what does he do? Goes back to the same arena, shoots another 400 makes.Gilbert Arenas, The No Chill Podcast
Dominance in today’s NBA is taken for granted. People talk about the rule and playstyle changes as diminishing factors when judging one’s performance on the court, using them as the foundation when making the “everyone could do it in today’s NBA” type of argument. And sometimes, they are right. The only issue is, the ones who are actually doing it in today’s NBA don’t get the credit they deserve. Arenas used Harden’s example to prove it.
When this creation pushes himself on a court, and you can’t stop him, there’s a reason you can’t stop him. He’s elevated the work ethic, which means he’s elevated his skill. So when you look at a defense that hasn’t changed since 1950 or whenever, and you’re looking at a player in 2019, make defense irrelevant.Gilbert Arenas, The No Chill Podcast
When fans say today’s players are soft, they aren’t just talking about their on-court abilities. The other part of their argument has a lot to do with the “teaming up” climate in the league today, especially since it’s initiated mainly by the players themselves. Another thing worth mentioning is the refs — the physical nature of the game has changed, and they’re doing nothing to restore it.
Arenas’ point, which is something I can agree with, is this; don’t let everything else twist your perception of the greatness we’re witnessing in NBA arenas day in and day out. Also, let’s not diminish the work players have put in to get where they are. It may seem easy, but it’s not, and that’s something Agent Zero experienced firsthand.
Want to stay up to date with the latest news and reactions? Download our NBA news feed for breaking news, live stats, and game coverage.