I’ve covered some asinine quotes in my two years at Outkick, however this statement from former NBA player Josh Smith blew me away. The power forward claims LeBron James wouldn’t have been able to dominate his era the way he does in today’s game.
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“It’s a different game back then,” Smith said. “Much more physical. I don’t think he has the jumpshot or skills to really consistently dominate defenses then as he does today. There’s so much spacing in today’s game. We had 2-3 guys on a star player any given night. Nothing was easy.”
Now I know some folks reading this are thinking ‘Yeah, LeBron doesn’t have the physical toughness to play “old school” basketball, which places you on Josh Smith’s side. And I’m here to share some crippling news for those on that train:
It’s called jealousy. Want me to prove it? That early 2000s NBA Smith alludes to that “didn’t have as much space as today’s game” is largely because of players, like Josh Smith, lacking skill. The reason we see three-point shooting and “spacing” like we do in the present is because NBA GMs demand it to accommodate their star talent. Spacing, objectively speaking, helps star players avoid double and triple teams to more easily impact the game. That’s strategy, not a “soft league.”
And let’s not forget Josh Smith just said “back then”, that implies he played in an era prior to LeBron James. That’d be false. Smith was drafted in 2004 — otherwise known as the year AFTER LeBron James. Perhaps he’s just upset James worked at his game and continues to dominate in year 18 while Smith plays in Japan or whatever the hell he does with his time these days.
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Get a grip, Josh. LeBron James dominates because he’s better and worked harder than you ever could. And let’s just say LeBron was forced to travel back into the 90’s when physical play was more prevalent, today’s king would be forced to adjust. What I’m wondering now is what’s stopping Josh Smith from re-entering into today’s league where scoring comes easier?