Gilbert Arenas is one of those former NBA players who is convinced he would score more points if he played in the league today. While making an appearance on the Fubo Sports podcast alongside former NBA head coach David Fizdale, Arenas argued why today’s game would be much more suitable for him to score many points.
Most NBA teams insist on playing small ball, which is different from before when most teams had big bodies, especially in the paint. When you have a dominant presence in the paint, perimeter players are more reluctant to drive inside the basket, and in today’s NBA, that is no longer the case for most teams. Arenas said his game resembles Harden and Westbrook, who rely heavily on attacking the basket and getting some of their points inside the paint.
I would average 40, and the reason is this. I played like James Harden and Russell Westbrook. They don’t have that big men to keep me out of there. If I’m scoring 45 and there’s Shaq and Alonzo Mourning coming behind him, you don’t have that. Now, your biggest guy is your four men, and you are switching your biggest guy on me. Now with the guards iso-ing in the post and that help guy is no longer a big because all bigs are lifted, so I think I’ll be in the 37 to 40 range. It all depends on the game and the way my style was either get to the basket, score a three, or mid-range.Gilbert Arenas, via Fubo Sports
Arenas used his speed and quickness to blow by defenders and attack the basket on multiple occasions. However, he was also a great shooter and was one of the first players in the league who would pull up a long-distance three-pointer shot in a similar fashion Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard are doing today. According to Arenas, it wasn’t a surprise for anyone he was doing because he continuously worked on that shot every day.
I was in the gym 24/7, so when I did it in the game, nobody was surprised. I never argued about shots with my teammates because we practiced them.Gilbert Arenas, via Fubo Sports
Many older players also said they would score much more points in today’s NBA because of how defenses are being played on top of the extra spacing on the court. That might be true, especially when you consider what Arenas said in terms of not having dominant players in the post who can block shots and impose their presence on defense. Today’s NBA is much more suited for someone with Arenas skillset, but whether he would average 40 is maybe an overstatement.