Although old-school NBA fans often like to say how the game has gotten worse and that the way basketball is being played right now is not fun to watch, they have to admit that the talent level and depth have never been this high. There is a high number of skilled individuals and good NBA teams that have made the league very competitive again. It's something entirely different opposed to the NBA back in its start when you had only about a dozen teams. Even though you had your superstars like Wilt, Russell, Big O, or Jerry West, there weren't nearly as many stars as we have today. Sixers center Joel Embiid certainly feels that way.
Embiid would have been the GOAT?
One of the frontrunners to win the MVP award this season, Sixers superstar Joel Embiid recently joined fellow NBA player Draymond Green on his podcast and talked about various interesting topics. In one funny bit, Embiid touched on the older eras and the comparison between the skill levels, saying he would have been the GOAT back then.
"Can you imagine the skill level that we have nowadays, or let's say me doing that back in the freaking 60s? They would've probably put me in jail or I would've been the greatest player ever."
Joel Embiid, The Draymond Green Show
Embiid never fails to bless us with a cocky and hilarious statements, and this is just one of many. Obviously, Embiid has been dominant, averaging 29.8 ppg and 11.3 rpg for the dangerous Sixers teams, and his confidence level is sky high right now. He is doing everything from the center position, presenting the perfect modern big man that can punish you inside and outside equally as well.
It's a different game
The fact he can bang like the old-school guys, with an added sweet touch from the outside, makes it hard to argue that he wouldn't ruin the competition back in the 60s. At that time, guys like Wilt or Russell were dominating the game on their sheer athletic ability and size. Putting a guy like Embiid who can compare physically to them and add the versatile scoring ability is unimaginable.
But that is normal and natural due to the change of the game over time. It's not a knock on those old-school guys that dominated in their eras. They just had different opportunities and conditions to work on their game, as they did what was necessary to win at that time. Nowadays, players have much more options to get better, and they are taking advantage of them, evolving into swiss army knives. To be elite in today's game, you have to be able to do everything on the court like Joel, and that's why he would be even more dominant in an era like the 60s.