Ask any ex-NBA player what they think of today’s game, and they’ll go on a rant about how they can stop everyone and average 50 points and win all the titles. After hanging up their jerseys and sneakers for good, these old heads can’t seem to strip off their competitive spirit. That fact makes it understandable. However, it becomes unacceptable if they continue to downplay the role of evolution in the sport or any field for that matter. Just ask Gilbert Arenas, who fended off Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman after belittling today’s NBA.
Arenas responded to the likes of Pippen and Rodman, who claimed they would dominate in today’s league. Rodman believes he would average 20 rebounds today. Pippen, who’s more outspoken, believes the Bulls would win 75 games and his teammate Michael Jordan would score 100 points. Other players like Shaquille O’Neal and Gary Payton have shared similar sentiments. They are in unison in declaring that their era is just better. The rants of these old guys have started to take a toll on the three-time All-Star.
“I’m starting to hate everyone in the 90s. You got Scottie and Rodman, both 6’7, 210, talking about they gonna stop somebody in today’s game. In today’s game, 6’7, 210 pounds, you are a little guard. They have no idea about evolution,” Arenas said in No Chill with Gilbert Arenas podcast.
Arenas’ response follows the same logic that Michael Jordan displayed when he disagreed with the “Greatest of All Time” label. In a 2009 interview, Jordan believes there’s no such thing as the GOAT, simply because he wasn’t able to play with the greats of the other eras.
“I don’t want it in a sense because I think it disrespects Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West — you know all the guys that prior to me I never had a chance to play against,” Jordan said. “What everybody is saying I am, I never had the chance to compete against other legends that was prior to me. When I hear it, I cringe a little bit because it’s a little bit embarrassing because no one knows. I never had the chance to, once again, to play against those guys,” Jordan said, per The Undefeated.
Arenas and Jordan’s answer won’t trigger fans and analysts to a revolt. That’s because it isn’t as controversial as those hot takes by some analysts. They’re actually dull answers, much like every truth ever written or spoken.