Even though he retired from the NBA seven years ago, Ray Allen still keeps a close eye on how the NBA is evolving. He's well aware that teams and players have developed a preference for 3-pointers over the last couple of years. For Allen, it's not difficult to pinpoint the moment or series of moments that have turned the league into a 3-point shooting fiasco.
"We're a copycat league so when Golden State started winning championships, what happened was everybody had to adjust to how they played, if the wanted to try to beat them. So they sped up their games a lot, people started to shoot threes and try to get them to shoot the ball."
Allen also noted that lots of big men "lost their jobs." After all, before the 3-pointer became the deadliest weapon around, the NBA was dominated by big men. For a team to compete at an elite level, it has to have a solid big man who's automatic from down low. Players like Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Yao Ming, Kevin Garnett, and David Robinson were all kings of the hardcourt. Now, players like those above are scarce or nowhere to be found. The only bigs that are of value are those who are mobile and have a reliable outside touch.
However, this isn't how the league will be for the time being. For Allen, one night can change it all. If Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers win the title, then basketball will be the game of the big man once again.
"Until Philly wins the NBA championship, that's when I think it's going to revert to the bigs. You got Embiid down there. Teams right now saying we don't really have to deal with him because they're not dominating the Eastern Conference and the NBA to where we need a defensive big and big that can score on him down low. Right now we don't have that. And so until they do that and they change it, the game is going to be where it is," Allen said.
It's an interesting point of view from the league's greatest shooters. One would assume that he's having one heck of a time seeing all these NBA players — both guards and bigs — turn into lethal sharpshooters. Contrary to this assumption, Allen's comments reveal that he's keeping his opinions as objective as possible. Instead, he wants the game to constantly evolve all types of players to get a piece of the pie.