One of the hardest things to do as an NBA fan is compare the different eras. Sure, modern stars like LeBron James might be unprecedented athletic freaks of nature. There’s no denying that.
But the league has changed so much over the years. Namely, modern players have access to things like quality nutrition and training facilities. Plus, of course — they’re compensated like never before.
That’s why it was strange to hear former NBA player turned-talking-head J.J. Reddick take a shot at older stars in April. In an episode of ESPN’s First Take, Reddick flippantly said players who guarded Hall of Famer Bob Cousy in the early days of the NBA were “plumbers and firemen.”
In a recent interview with Sirius XM NBA Radio, “The Logo,” a.k.a. Jerry West — took exception to Reddick’s comments. How?
Why he asked what Reddick — a role player — accomplished in the modern era:
Phew! Did someone turn off the AC, or is that some straight heat from West? (Note: West is sitting in front of a silhouette of himself.)
Let’s rewind the part where West says he thinks Reddick is a “smart kid” before completely tearing him down for his “disrespect” of older NBA players:
“Tell me what career looked like,” West said. “What did he do that determined games? He averaged, what, 12 points a game in the league? Somewhere along the way, numbers count. At that point in time (modern era), the players aren’t what they used to be. J.J. certainly wasn’t going to guard the elite players.”
I mean, my goodness. I’m speechless. No lies detected!
Before stepping off his justified soapbox, West took one more passive-aggressive shot at Reddick:
“We didn’t have the facilities to get better,” West said. “We had to work in the summers to support our family. J.J. should be very thankful that he’s made as much money as he’s made.”
The Logo has spoken: If you’re a role player like Reddick, consider holding your tongue before talking smack about past stars.