Vince Carter made a guest appearance on the phone ‘All The Smoke’ podcast, where he talked about different topics and stories from his 22-year-long career. One of the things they touched upon during the conversation with Vince was the difference in eras and how various players would perform under certain rules. This is a hot topic among NBA fans for years, and even though everybody has their own point of view on the subject, Carter, who played across four different decades, has a very realistic approach to this never-ending debate.
According to Vince, when people discuss the topic of who is the GOAT in the NBA, the first thing they need to take into account is under which rules are the games being played. The NBA changed drastically in the last decade or so, and now it’s all about scoring a lot of points, which wasn’t the case when Carter came into the NBA in the late ’90s. The removal of hand-checking above anything else changed the game quite a bit because it took away a certain advantage defensive players could use. On top of that, big guys can no longer impose their presence in the paint as they used to, which completely changes their role in the league today as well.
When people ask these questions on who is the greatest, I’m like which rules we are using. If you put, some of the players and stars of today in that era with hand-checking and the physicality and what is considered a flagrant now, who survives. It’s a different ball-game. When you go through the paint, and you can get bumped, it’s different, and that’s my argument with people.Vince Carter, via All The Smoke
Nowadays, the rules in the league enable great scorers to score even more, which is frustrating for a certain percentage of fans who admire to see great defense on every single possession. Because of these reasons, when everybody talks about the GOAT, they believe if you put Michael Jordan in today’s league, he would average over 40 points per game. Carter, who had the honor to play against Jordan in the later stage of his career, agrees with the notion. Vince saw many great players in his career and doesn’t want to disrespect anyone, but the fact of the matter is that the rules nowadays would benefit players like Jordan even more.
“It’s no disrespect to anybody because they are all great, and you can argue back and forth. Everybody will have their opinion, but I’m saying which rules we are using. If we are using today’s rules, then ok. Take Michael Jordan, who is banged up, bruised, and getting f***ed up every time he was running off the screen, through the paint, and put him in the rules today. That is my argument, and it’s no disrespect to any of these guys. Whatever you will say, it will ruffle some feathers, and that is cool.”Vince Carter, via All The Smoke