From Oscar Robertson to Scottie Pippen – and now from Tracy McGrady to Charles Barkley – there sure is a lot of Warriors hate going around these days. In fact, the more the Warriors achieve, the more hate we hear.
“Yeah, there’s some sort of success envy going on that I can’t really explain,” NBA-TV analyst Stu Jackson said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “For any one of us that has seen the Warriors over the past two seasons, their success and the play of Steph Curry is really undeniable. And you take into account the fact that Steph Curry has really changed the paradigm on how you have to play defensive basketball against not only he, but his Warriors teammates that are on a roster that has great perimeter shooting, has multiple playmakers at different positions, who are one of the top three defensive teams in the league, they win 73 games and break the record – and anyone who would deny or take a shot at them, to me, it’s just beyond words. I’m speechless.”
Curry was named the NBA MVP for the second consecutive season Tuesday. He received 131 of 131 first-place votes, becoming the first unanimous MVP in league history.
“There’s no one that follows the game that doesn’t believe that Steph Curry should have been a unanimous MVP winner yesterday,” Jackson said. “It makes sense. It would be tough if I’m a voting member to put down any other name for first place other than Steph Curry, and that’s what happens. So anyone that takes a shot at this and all their accomplishments – I just can’t explain it.”
McGrady, however, did just that, saying that Curry’s unanimous MVP is proof that the NBA is watered down. Barkley agreed.
“Well, what are you describing as watered down?” Jackson asked. “I don’t think we’ve expanded since (McGrady) played. Anyone (who) would look at the NBA today would tell you they have more stars, more great players, more marketable players, maybe than at any other time in the last 20 years. So I’m not really understanding what the watered-down theory is after the league expanded to 30 teams. Now, okay, Barkley played at a time when, yes, there were less teams and perhaps he could argue that there were more and better players during his era. I get it. I don’t think that Tracy McGrady can really hold that argument.”
It’s possible, if not likely, that all the Golden State hate can be attributed to the non-physical era in which Curry and his teammates play.
“Perhaps, but the rules are the way that they are today,” Jackson said. “And because of the rules and the way they’re interpreted and the way that the referees referee the game, it’s made for a more aesthetically pleasing game, it’s more free-flowing, and yes, you could argue that they have an offensive advantage. But it is what it is. The Warriors are performing under the system the way it is today. Back in the day when you could grab and hold and forearm players, it slowed the game down, it wasn’t as fun to look at. But to make the argument that it was harder then than it is today, I don’t subscribe to that. You have to be more offensively powerful today as a team than maybe you did back then where you would just grind it out and the success was measured by how much you lifted in the weight room. Today, it’s a different era, a different standard, a different requirement to win basketball games, and the Warriors are doing that in this environment.”