No athlete can please everybody, but it seems that today, Giannis Antetokounmpo can't please anybody. The pattern of the tough gatekeeping old heads talking down modern-day players is getting a little hilarious. Nothing will beat Oscar Robertson's hilarious take on Stephen Curry but first, let's see how Charles Oakley publicly stated that Giannis would not even be a starter in his day and how Shaquille O'Neal contends the Greek Freak would not be at the level he is at today.
Giannis couldn't play in Shaq's era… right?
Tracy McGrady hopped on The Big Shaq Podcast With Shaq, where the Diesal was adamant Giannis could not thrive in his era. "Would Giannis have played with us?," Shaq asked. "Would he have been Giannis?."
To where Tracey, who has always been open that Giannis could play in any era, jolted back a little, saying, "I think he would have struggled because of how closed up the paint was back then… it was tough offensively because the defense was so great." Then finally succumbing to the pressure claiming "it would have been tough for him to be who he is, today."
You're right because Shaq, who in '00 averaged 29.7, 13.6, 3.8 on 57% shooting, would walk circles around Giannis, who is now putting up a 29.4, 11.2, 6.0 on a 58% clip - with ease?
Sure Shaq banged low in more crowded paints, but Giannis doesn't need a guard to set plays for him? But hey, maybe they're not that far apart at all?
Giannis is just a bench player in my time?
Charles Oakley might be the poster child of old guys hating on the new, but the level of expectation doesn't rule out the absurdity.
Oakley went off on the No Pump Fakes podcast, asserting that Giannis "wouldn't have been a force back in the day." Continuing, "he wouldn't be doing no euros to the basket… someone would knock his head off… he would have come off the bench back in the day".
Just another day for Giannis
This article could go down for pages of past players insulting Giannis, but who wants to support that type of traffic? So here are a few:
Giannis is clearly Robin
That's right, he only has one thing in his arsenal of tricks, and getting to the free-throw line of all places is it! Even current-day players throw shots. You can quiz me on this when I'm 99-years old and I'll know the quote by heart.
The best example of an old-head hating the new you will find on the internet.
This is Oscar Robertson providing the key secret to lock up Stephen Curry, if only coaches would listen - via NJ.com.
"I look at games today, and they'll start a defense at the foul line." Robertson said "When I played, they were picking you up when you got the ball inbounds. So it's a different strategy about playing defense."
When asked if he had ever seen a better shooter, Robertson said, "There have been some great shooters in the past." He added, "When I played years ago, if you shot a shot outside and hit it, the next time I'm going to be up on top of you. I'm going to pressure you with three-quarters, half-court defense."
"But now they don't do that," the 77-year-old continued. "These coaches do not understand the game of basketball, as far as I'm concerned."
Might be the funniest bunch of quotes ever. If only guys tried guarding Curry up the full court - that would stop him. Because if it worked with the best shooters of the 60s, of course, the same thing would work with Curry.
People are always going to hate.
Maybe it's even part of getting old to look at the up-and-coming generations with a level of arrogance and disdain. To think they had it easy compared to your time - the best time. Or maybe it's not. Obviously, saying nice things won't make the headlines, so this could be a case of basing our opinion on a negativity bias. There's one bad apple, so the whole store is terrible. But for those who ignore the concept of evolution, it would make sense that it happens more in sports than anywhere else. Where egos go behind the wheel - and that's why we love it.