“As Good As We Were, We Would Be Even Greater Playing Today” | Hater Rick Barry Says If He Had A Whirlpool And Masseuse, He Would Dominate Today’s NBA

Another day, another former NBA player whining about what he didn’t have in his era and how if he had what players today have, he’d be even better. Today’s minister of propaganda is Hall of Famer Rick Barry.

“If you really understood the game and you really knew what the difference was between when we played and the guys playing here, we had nothing to help us,” Barry said.

Rick Barry Was Elite In His Era

Barry’s accomplishments during his era are legendary and that’s why he is revered as an all-time great.

But facts and evolution are what they are. Athletes are stronger and faster now than they were at Barry’s peak in 1967.

Look at the progression of the world record in the 100 and 200 meters since 1967. The records set in 1967 would barely qualify you for the finals at the 2022 world championships and the record times then wouldn’t podium in 2022.

That was for the best of the best in that era. What about the everyone else who qualified in 1967 versus 2022?

Bringing it back to Barry, yes players today fly charter and have all the benefits and advances made in sports science. But shooting is shooting. Even without all the modern advances in travel and physical care, the mechanics of a jump shot remain consistent.

Barry made 45 percent of his shots from the field during his playing career. He made 46 percent of his two-point FGs, all against less athletic defenders. Better travel, a whirlpool and a masseuse wouldn’t all of a sudden make him a 50-40-90 guy against today’s players.

Better In The Modern NBA?

The idea of “better” remains tenuous at best. Better than who?

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Durant, Paul George, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Jayson Tatum, and Lauri Markkanen are by some measures the best 10 forwards in the game right now.

In Barry’s era he was routinely making All-NBA teams, which means he was top-4 in the league at his position. They only had two All-NBA teams back then. Which seven players today is he actually better than?

He has a better résumé than some of the aforementioned. But pure basketball skills, which seven?

This isn’t about knocking Barry or denigrating his era. But older players like him who refuse to give the new generation their props is part of the problem the league has. As the elder statesmen and ambassadors they should be championing the game, calling out issues, but being accurate in their critiques.

“I didn’t have an agility coach. I didn’t have a dietician. I didn’t travel on charter planes; we didn’t have whirlpools. We didn’t have saunas, and we didn’t have masseuses. If I played today, I would be faster — and I was pretty fast then,” he continued. “I’ve been faster, quicker and more endurance. I would be a better basketball player because I had none of those things available. It is crazy how much better the guys I played with, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West. As good as we were, we would be even greater playing today.”

All of these comments sound like jealousy.

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