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Enough is enough, ex-NBA players. We get that you're jealous of this Warriors team. But one of your colleagues says that you need to suck it up and learn to appreciate Steph Curry & Co. On Tuesday, Reggie Miller lectured his fellow NBA retirees for not embracing change (via For The Win):
“As old time guys and former players, we have to embrace change. It’s hard for old players to embrace change because whether you played in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, [we all had] different rules. Basketball has evolved and it has changed,” he said. “Change is good and we’ve got to embrace Steph and what he’s doing.”
It's something of a reversal for Miller, who in December stated that he would take down Curry at the peak of his powers with the Pacers. Yet it's one that absolutely makes sense. Short of maybe Larry Bird,who would be a better fit for the modern NBA than Miller? His game matches up beautifully with the Warriors; where other ex-players are seeing basketball shift away from their midrange and post-oriented styles, Miller's entering a brave new world that could truly appreciate who he was as a player. He was a career 39.5 percent shooter on 3s, yet he only once made more than 200 in a season. Miller must look upon Curry's numbers with incredible envy.
Then again, that's kind of the problem. It's human nature to consider one's own successes the right way to do something, and former NBA players look at the prevalence of the 3-point line and see a league with which they can't begin to identify. Miller said that the media needs to stop asking some of basketball's all-time greats how they think they'd handle the reigning MVP. After all, as Miller points out, what do we expect them to say?
“It’s not fair to put a microphone in front of Oscar Robertson and ask him, ‘Well, how do you think you would have fared against Steph?’ What made Isiah [Thomas], Oscar, Magic [Johnson Hall of Famers was their competitive edge. It’s not fair to ask, ‘Do you think you could stop Steph?’ So when they ask me, am I going to say, ‘No, I can’t shoot it against Steph?'”
It would take quite the wise athlete to recognize both how different the game is from one's own particular approach and how amazing these Golden State Warriors are. Has anyone asked Bill Russell what he thinks about Curry's team?