NBA players from past eras often have different takes on the game's evolution. However, most of them believe that today's game lacks physicality and defense. That's also what former New Jersey Nets shooting guard Kerry Kittles has observed.
Nobody wants to play D
Along with the changes in the way the game is being played came the swift advancement in technology. Unlike in Kittles' era, NBA players can easily express themselves through social media these days. However, Kittles said that all he hears are people talking about scoring.
"In its efforts to increase scoring, the analytics now [is] influencing scoring in so many ways. You hear less and less about defense," Kittles told NBA.com in 2019. "It's important and people are talking about it but mostly they're talking about scoring and scoring."
Kerry likes what he sees
Kittles may have emphasized defense, but ironically, he was known for being a streak three-point shooter. In fact, he set an NBA rookie record of 158 3-point shots made in the 1996-97 season, which stood as a Nets franchise record for 16 years.
So, despite acknowledging that playing defense will always be a vital aspect of the game, the former Villanova star remained honest about his thoughts on how the three-point area is utilized these days.
As per Kittles, he sees his game fitting in well in today's NBA given he spent his entire career as a three-point shooter. What's even more interesting is that Kittles is hyped about being allowed to launch treys at any given time instead of going for a higher-percentage shot like they used to do in the old days.
"It definitely suits the way I used to play," Kittles assessed. "I played with pace. I played in the open court. I definitely shot a lot of threes. I definitely would have done well in today's game… In today's game, you have to take the three. You can't even think about passing it up…I like to think I would do it well."
Kittles did not earn a single All-Star selection during his years in the league. We could say he just came in at the wrong time as the amount of talent he had to outshine as a shooting guard at the time was insane – Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, and the list could go on. Had he arrived in the league in this era, where there are fewer lockdown defenders, there's no telling what Kittles would've become.