- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 23, 2022

One of the most common debates in basketball is whether today’s less-physical style means the players and teams in the 1980s and 1990s were actually better.

Former Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas doesn’t think the argument is a close one. In an interview with VladTV, Arenas, in his typical humorous way, sided with today’s generation.

“1980s people think fouling was defense,” Arenas said. “That’s not actual defense. He’s just fouling me and hoping that I don’t want to do it anymore. You didn’t actually stop me, you just [expletive] fouled me until I wanted to give up.”

Arenas, who played in the NBA from 2001 to 2011, didn’t exclude himself from the conversation, admitting he wouldn’t have been able to guard a player like Warriors guard Stephen Curry.

“The moves they do now, you’ve never seen in your life,” Arenas said. “Like me, I’m not going to be able to guard Curry.”

He didn’t say every player from previous decades would be useless in today’s NBA, giving examples of some players whose “attributes transcend” any era. But he believes today’s stars would have been even better if they played in the 1980s or 1990s, saying Warriors forward Draymond Green would put up Dennis Rodman-esque rebounding numbers and be a better passer if he played in that era.

“I laugh at it because I watched the game evolve,” Arenas said. “We’ve evolved. These guys have made that position better. No, you’re not going to be able to guard these guys.”

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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