Hubie Brown Breaks Down Why Older Players Hate On The Modern NBA
Hubie Brown has spent over 40 years watching the sport of basketball change from a very good vantage point. He's coached over 1,000 NBA games and announced probably just as many since the early 70s, which is why it's worth listening to him when he talks about the rift between former players and the current generation. Ya know, like when Oscar Robertson says no one knows how to play defense on Steph Curry. On "Mike & Mike" Friday morning, Brown did his best to break down why the NBA's council of elders -- like Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith -- think the current NBA is, for lack of better word, easier.
Brown argued that older players are both jealous of how much money players make today without having to endure hand-checks, flagrant fouls and, as a result, shot blockers. It was pretty epic, albeit confusing (Hubie Brown speaks his own version of the English language sometimes).
"In 1974, my second year in the year, [Jerry West and Oscar Robertson] retired. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was making $500,000, and he wins the MVP for the third time in four years making $500,000. Oscar robertson and jerry west, two of the greatest names in the history of the game, who are definitely going to be in two of the top four guards until maybe some of these younger players retire -- they were making $350,000. So when they see players making zillions of dollars, hundreds of millions guaranteed, the incredible commercials that they're getting off the court, there has to be a little envy, and then they look at how the game is changed. just like football, 'let's eliminate all the physical contact, we want more scoring.' So now you take away the hand-check. Don't discount that, because if i pressure you full court with these guys, with the hands that they have, they put the hand on your hip, they could guide you because of their forearm, wrist, and the strength factor. So anybody who just discourages hand-checking, if i pick you up at half court, i'm going keep my hip right on you as you're dribbling, you can go between your legs or you can go behind your back, and i still can control you. well, i take away that, and then i take away the forearm on all cutters and the dribbler. You get half a step ahead of me, i shoot the forearm across your letter, and then i stop you right there. that's how they ward off the blockers, all right? we take that away."
Brown continued, explaining that the elimination of the hard foul has dumbed-down basketball because players no longer have to develop mid-range games. They simply run their defender off a pick and go to the basket -- which used to be a vastly more complicated task when interior defense wasn't nearly as scrutinized by officials.
"The threat of the hard foul today, the flagrant foul, is an embarrassment to our game. now, are some of these guys getting cheap shots? absolutely. but when you get a flagrant on you today, all right, it's a lot of money. what it has done? it's taken away the difficulty of getting to the rim. shot blocking is down. in the old days, you're going to the rim, i'm going to foul you from the wrist to your elbow, not hit you in the head or in the neck area. i'm not going to hit you there, because now you can't get your arm up above your number, so you can't get off the shoot. if i take away hand-checking, the forearm, and then take away the threat of the shot block -- because that's what they've done to the rotations now -- i can be a great shot blocker today, but they take me to a flagrant foul any time i block a shot and i might come down and maybe hit the guy on the top of the head it's an automatic flagrant foul. well, i think that that is the main complaint of the older player, and the older player will say this: 'take away that stuff in the freeway, i could have averaged five to eight more points a game.' for the great scorers. you know what? you can't tell me they wouldn't. number two, they also say now, 'where are the plays? where's the cerebral part of the game? where are the great offenses that we saw for years and years? where are you getting me a great shot with the shot clock down in the last four, five, six seconds in my best areas? where's that challenge for the coaching staff?' well, the player coming in, the one and dones, any coach will tell you the cerebral part of the game is down, because now we run pick-and-roll, pick-and-pop, one-on-one. why do you do that? because you can get to the rim. you can get to the rim without the hand-checking, and without the hard fouls. so that is the major -- i hate to get on such a soapbox, but that's their side of all of this.
Mic = dropped.
In fairness, it's hard not to understand WHY older players are shaking their fists at their predecessors -- dudes are rich as hell -- but that doesn't necessarily mean their conclusion that the modern game is soft makes sense. For a dissenting opinion, check out these three reasons why the older guys are totally wrong about basketball in 2016, here.
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