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Tim Duncan ‘Hates’ A Lot Of Things About the Modern NBA

The big fundamental and greatest small forward of all time Tim Duncan stopped by The Ringer’s “Real Ones” podcast and was asked about today’s NBA.

His response sounds eerily similar to the folks that now leave the NBA in their rear view mirror.

“There’s a lot of things that I like and enjoy about it, and there’s a lot of things that I hate about it,” Duncan said. “I hate the way the game’s being officiated at times, how they’ve underpowered the effect of a post player so that you’re allowed to beat the crap out of a post player. You’re allowed to take him off his spot. You’re allowed to hit him, bump him while they’re shooting. But if you turn and face and go out to the 3-point line, and you shoot the ball and fall down, all of a sudden, the whistle is blown.”

This is fair. NBA players are bigger, faster, and stronger, so why don’t we let them play more physical? The money. And that’s really all there is to it. If the league has assets worth north of $50 million annually — they aren’t going to let Bill Laimbeer do his thing.

Makes sense, but there should be a middle ground. Duncan went on to discuss the issues with defending three-point shooters:

“So they’re protecting the shooters away from the basket. It overpowers some of the players that are away from the basket, and it underpowers post players who use their bodies and their physicality around the basket.”

Everything the future Hall of Famer said is objectively true, and the league knows it. They even invented a rule called the “Zaza rule” where defenders are given a flagrant foul if they stand in a shooter’s “landing zone”. This rule came about after then San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard was undercut by Zaza Pachulia that led to a series-ending sprained ankle. Kind of difficult to defend shooters if you can’t get anywhere near them.

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich went off during the post-game interview.

So, the NBA is obviously too soft and it’s an issue. Duncan’s complaints will fall on deaf ears for financial reasons, but they’re still worth hearing.

We feel you, Tim.

23 Comments

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  1. The softness of the NBA really escalated after the Kobe-Shaq-Duncan era went into the sunset. It really is like watching something out of the Twilight Zone when you watch 80-90s era NBA where they actually played defense and players had to earn their points quite often the hard way.

    • The Last Dance reminded all who watched that the physical play in the 90’s (especially Bulls vs Pistons) was unreal. Totally different game today. Softness, lack of defense, load management, and woke are just a few reasons I haven’t watched any NBA since the bubble games began last year.

  2. The scoring is ridiculous nowadays. When I see NBA scores come up on a ticker or wherever I see them, teams are seemingly routinely scoring 120, 130 points in regulation. I know for a fact that just a few years ago when I did pay attention to the NBA the scores were NOT like they are now. The 3 pointer has inflated scores so much, and it’s partially due to the rules and officials consistently allowing shooters to put their leg out to ‘draw’ a foul. That ain’t drawing a foul. Drawing a foul is getting hacked at the basket trying to score points like a man because you out-footworked/out-muscled your opponent.

  3. The play is boring but I cut off the NBA last year and still have not watched a minute of it this year. They think I care what they think about topics like politics; I do not. Doesn’t matter if they agree with me or not; the NBA is supposed to be entertainment. Go bend the knee to China on your own time.

  4. The whole league is just a fraternity for millionaires with LeBron as the “commissioner”. If you’re in LeBrons circle, on any team, you’re set for life in today’s league. Name a player anywhere who is obsessed with stopping him? This is 180 degrees different from 25 years ago when guys’ sole focus was to stop Jordan, Bird or Kobe.

  5. The officiating is horrible.The game can’t go 45 seconds without the whistles being blowed. The NBA is nothing a professional version of AAU basketball. A shooter can have a clear path to the goal with no defenders around him and players will pull up and shoot a 3.

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