In Defense Of The Big “O”
Last week, Oscar Robertson gave his opinion about defense in the modern-day NBA. Simply put, he offered the opinion that coaches didn’t seem to know what proper defense is these days.
Well….that set off quite the firestorm.
You see when it comes to opinions evidently people of a certain age should just be quiet because things have evolved so much with the game of basketball only people currently involved with the game can understand the intricate way defense is set up. If defense is so much more sophisticated these days, why do I always see a guy open in the corner ready to take a shot? I mean, ALWAYS OPEN.
Most of this hot debate centers around the incredible range of Steph Curry. People say he cannot be guarded. Oscar begs to differ. His opinion, which is widely dismissed, is to try picking him up earlier on the court than the three-point line. Isiah Thomas had made the same point weeks earlier on NBA TV. He showed several plays where the defender was nowhere near Curry.
Now, Steph Curry can shoot with a hand in his face from anywhere, but that doesn’t mean you stop trying to guard him. More pressure might eventually wear him down just a bit. It would be worth a try.
The thing about some pundits is they would like the era they cover to be the best ever. It gives them reflected glory. “I’m writing/talking about the best ever so I must be pretty great too.”
That has been the case from Grantland Rice to today. Pump up your time and dismiss all who came before.
Every replay of Curry,who is a great pure shooter, is followed by a dig at Oscar Robertson.
That is where I draw the line and turn the channel.
Oscar, from his days at Crispus Attucks on, was and is one of the best players to ever lace up a pair of sneakers.
When he started in the NBA there were only 9 teams. When he retired there were 17. I would submit that it was harder to play then because of how familiar everyone was with each other’s game.
Oscar Robertson is a man who is sure of himself. He is still a student of the game.
And he is right.