Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Home Basketball Kevin Garnett believes his generation "couldn't handle today's basketball."

Kevin Garnett believes his generation “couldn’t handle today’s basketball.”

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Comparisons are as odious as they are inevitable. Long-time fans have witnessed the great transformation the NBA has undergone in the past two decades. Now, systems prioritize triple, spacing and speed over touch and physical strength that have taken a back seat.

Kevin Garnett, champion with the Boston Celtics in 2008, was part of that harder and slower basketball, although already in the twilight of his career he witnessed first-hand the changes that were taking place. And contrary to what many former players and fans now advocate, Garnett believes his generation would have suffered greatly to adapt to this new pace of play.

“The game is now at another level,” said the former player to the media The New York Times. “I want you to go up the court, run from corner to corner, stop suddenly and hit a triple. And do that ten times. So I want you to tell me how tired you are. Because these players do that for 48 minutes. I don’t think guys from 20 years ago could put up with this current basketball. “

Indeed, the NBA was forced to modify the rules of the competition to counteract the slow and tedious pace to which the games were subjected in the late 1990s, where muscle was much more important than talent. Thus came rules such as the elimination of seconds in the defensive zone or the suppression of the hand-checking, among others. Measures that opened the doors to new systems and ways of conceiving the attack that are still being developed and perfected today.

“20 years ago players used their hands to control others. Now you can’t. That makes defending almost impossible. Can you imagine not being able to control Michael Jordan with your hands? No. The fact that you can’t touch the players gives the attacker a lot of flexibility, ”continued the former Minnesota and Boston, among others.

Despite this nostalgia shared by many, the less physical game benefited the NBA, in diffusion of new talent, player profiles and audience. Stars like Stephen Curry or James Harden have transformed the offensive aspects from creativity and ingenuity. A capacity for renewal that has catapulted the league into a new era.

“If you have creativity and ambition you can be a great player in this league. Steph Curry turned things upside down by being able to throw from long range with such consistency. Also Klay Thompson or Dame Lillard. These guards they changed the game. “

Garnett went a bit further and questioned whether outside players from previous decades could adapt to this NBA. “I don’t even know if the guards from 20 or 30 years ago could play right now. They are creative. They are competitive. They would get over it and tear the cruciate ligament, ”Kevin joked. “The game is in very good shape right now.”

(Cover photo by Hannah Foslien / Getty Images)

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