Charles Barkley hosted in an exclusive interview with ESPN, where he talked about the shortage of old-school big men who play in the post. Bigs nowadays are mostly relying on their outside shooting than ever before, and there are only a handful of big guys that use their size to their advantage.
It’s worth mentioning there were always big guys who had the ability to shot the basketball extremely well; however, they also had the post-game as a part of their repertoire. Players nowadays mostly rely on shooting the ball from outside, and low post game is completely neglected in that regard. Barkley said that guys like Towns, Davis, Drummond, and Griffin should use their size more often against other players. S
“Well I think it’s stupid and I want to make it clear. I’m not the old man get off my lawn” guy, but there are a couple of reasons why I think it’s stupid to play like that. Number one, you take your size advantage out of the game. Why do you I want Karl Anthony Towns, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin, guys who are physically bigger and stronger, why would I want them on the perimeter. That helps me as a defender, instead of stopping one of those big guys on the post. I don’t understand why you would want to take your physical advantage away.”
Big guys like Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant had a tremendous impact on the game in the last two decades because they showed they are better shooters than most of the guards out there. Both of them are seven-footers with unlimited range, but in Barkley’s opinion, they are both an anomaly that doesn’t come around that often.
“Kevin Durant and Dirk Nowitzki are an anomaly. If you ask any great coach or any player, there is never going to be a great seven-foot player not named Dirk Nowitzki or Kevin Durant.”
The evolution of basketball in the last ten years ago or so led to this situation where it became a necessity for centers to shot well, especially from the three-point land. There were also several examples of centers that developed a reliable jump shot years after they were drafted into the NBA because the teams asked them to do so. The way the NBA is heading at the moment, there is a high probability this trend will continue in the future, and the role of big men will be forever shaped way differently than before.