Tweet of the Night: Matt Barnes calls today’s NBA “soft”

Matt BarnesBack in the 1980’s and even into the 1990’s, the old-timers of the NBA played a different style of basketball – almost a different game in ways – than one that is played today. Specifically, the league allowed much more contact on the defensive end than they do now.

If you were left to deal with a player who is faster than you, you could use your hands or forearms to push them away from the basket. Actually, those were tactics mostly allowed and used no matter who you were guarding, paving the way for highly physical and intense games. There were less penalties for flagrant fouls, and it took more than some “unnecessary contact” to pick them up, too. It caused plenty of fights, which the league also didn’t crucify players for doing. There were no rules to get players out of the paint by a certain time period. Simply put, it was a defense-oriented era.

Of course, we know what happened to that era: the league wanted more emphasis on better offense, so most of what used to be allowed on defense is no longer allowed today. This is not to say that the changes were all bad. With better knowledge and improved technology, players have gotten much stronger and more athletic over the years. Allowing the same amount of physicality now would likely cause many more injuries to an already injury-ridden league. Still, it’s easy to reminisce back to a time when the game was more rugged and hardcore, as Matt Barnes of the Los Angeles Clippers did on Monday:


Here is a game between the Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons back in 1985 to get an idea of what Barnes is talking about, if you have two hours to kill:

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James Park is the chief blogger of Sheridan Hoops. You can find him on twitter @SheridanBlog.


  1. Rob dowd says

    As much as I hate to admit it, Barnes is right, the NBA is becoming more pathetic as each year rolls on, it’s like players care more about their appearance. I can’t think of a player that plays with extreme physicality, the only ones that pop up are Barnes himself, DeMarcus and Aron Baynes (well, at least he played with extreme physicality in the Summer League and against Dwight in Round 1 of the 2013 playoffs).

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