Draymond Green calls on former players to criticize today’s better NBA

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Draymond Green calls on former players to criticize today's better NBA

BOSTON — The moment that many of us have been waiting and hoping and silently pleading for finally arrived on Tuesday.

It took a current NBA star a few moments to spit fire at former NBA stars who so casually denigrate today’s players as infinitely softer and somehow inferior to those they played with.

Thank you, Draymond Green, for calling on the paper tigers and cranky pundits who are so often determined to revise history.

On the podium between Games 2 and 3 of the NBA Finals, Draymond was asked if anyone from the past “inspired” his willingness to engage verbally and physically, a topic raised after his brief skirmish with Celtics forward Grant Williams was raised in Game 2 Sunday at the Chase Center.

Draymond said his style originated in his hometown of Saginaw, Michigan, a working-class town that has brought dozens of athletes to the NBA and NFL. He also called out Gary Payton who, along with former Celtic Cedric Maxwell, was enthralled by the physicality and trash talk between Green and Williams.

However, Maxwell said Draymond was “knocked the fk out” during his era. That was the sentence that fueled his inner heat.

“Growing up, of course, I watched guys like Gary Payton and Rasheed Wallace,” Green said. “I watched all these guys going about their business. Dennis Rodman. Having watched these guys over the years, I really appreciate Uncle Oak (Charles Oakley) how he pushed things through. That’s part of the game. That’s a skill. I have a great deal of respect for these guys.

“I saw what Cedric Maxwell said.”

And here Draymond shifted his disgust into another gear.

“One thing that puzzles me about the ’80s or ’90s, or whatever you want to call it, when basketball was so much more physical is that some of the guys who were talking weren’t the guys who were hitting people.” , Green said. “They act like the guys are just walking around the court like, ‘I’m going to punch this guy in the nose.’ Back then there were some guys who would put you down, knock you out, foul you and get kicked out of the game. Bill Laimbeer. Rick Mahon.

“But everyone who’s walking around pretending to be, you’ve all been bullied. So, it baffles me when every guy, just because he played in the ’80s, just because he played in the ’90s, says, man, if you played in our days you’d be KO’d. No, not really, because that wouldn’t be you.”

Laimbeer and Mahorn were the Detroit Pistons’ Motor City Killers during their Bad Boys era. Draymond was in diapers during this period, but he’s clearly heard stories and seen highlights from these teams that won back-to-back championships in 1989 and 1990.

But Draymond didn’t let his sermon end there. Of course not. Today’s NBA players clapping back with yesterday’s blowhards will be great entertainment in 2022 as the debate descends into a schism that can incite disgust — but TV ratings can be gold.

Sometimes, but not always, there is a tone of lightness. Or spirited barbershop dialogue between the generations.

And here Draymond tried to make sense of it. He rightly concluded that there is no point in making it.

“When guys make these comparisons or talk about it, ‘Oh, if you’d played in today’s time.’ . .” said Green. “And if she Nowadays one should have been much more skilled than one was. It’s just different.

“When you compare the physicality of the game and everyone acts like they’re just the most physical and brutal enforcers, it’s like everyone’s acting like they’re shooting the ball like Steph Curry is today.”

Draymond openly questioned the authenticity of those players whose words in 2022 bore no resemblance to their actions in 1992. The truth is that many are scammers. The game was nice at times in the 1980s and 1990s. It was nice at times in the 2010s and now in the 2020s.

The rules have changed, so the game has changed too.

“It was physical then, now it’s shooting,” Green said. “Not everyone can shoot the ball. Imagine me in 20 years man if you played in my day you had to shoot. Like, yes, guys shot better and more. But that doesn’t mean you shot that well.”

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Today’s game is all about depth and 3-point shooting and skill variety, with flashes of Guard-like skill from players who might have been centers in the 1980’s. There is undoubtedly more finesse.

Yesterday’s NBA was more about stature and structure and will. Bring your muscles, punk or get punked. While it offered many fantastic games and moments, the depth of quality was severely limited across the league.

From 1980 through 1998, 18 of the 19 championships were shared by just five teams: Lakers, Celtics, Pistons, Bulls, and Rockets.

In the 23 seasons since then, there have been 10 different champions.

Other league. Better League. One who doesn’t deserve the ridicule or scorn that comes their way for pointless “debates.”

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