Numerous fans, analysts, and NBA players themselves think the role of big men in the NBA no longer has the same importance as it used to more than a decade ago. In fact, this season marked the first one in over 20 years in which a center won the MVP award when Nikola Jokic was presented with that accolade becoming the first center since Shaquille O’Neal to win an MVP.
However, despite all that, it’s evident we live in a guard and forward-driven league in which the center position evolved in a different way to be more suitable for the plays teams are running nowadays. Former NBA player Metta World Peace shared a post on his Twitter profile in which he feels sorry for the big men in the NBA today. He believes the league made it harder on them on purpose, especially with all the rule changes that make it easier for guards to operate instead of big men.
This is a message to big men. I know they are making the game purposely tough on you . They don’t want to market big strong guys. So you guys get tick tack fouls , guards can push you , but you can push back. You are being oppressed globally. Keep ya head up. May bigs reign again.Metta World Peace, via Twitter
This is a message to big men. I know they are making the game purposely tough on you . They don’t want to market big strong guys. So you guys get tick tack fouls , guards can push you , but you can push back. You are being oppressed globally. Keep ya head up. May bigs reign again
— Metta World Peace (@MettaWorld37) June 19, 2021
There is actually a lot of truth in what Metta is saying, and even though we still have great big men in the NBA, their skillset is a lot different than what big men had back in the day. The league made it hard for big men to impose an interior presence in the same way they had before, and the system teams are running is made of a lot of shooting, especially from the three-point line. The big men adjusted in the best possible way, but their impact on the game is nowhere similar to the one they had in the ’90s. For example, almost every championship-contending team had a dominant center on their squad.
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