It's not that players today are not physical. They are unable to do the things that happened back then because regular fouls back then are now considered flagrant fouls. I am sure LeBron would be great in a physical environment due the fact that he is 6'8 250lbs and has a 44.6in. vertical. It's all about how people were raised to play the game and back then the rules were not heavily enforced as they are today. On top of all this no matter who played when, LeBron would simply put destroy Monty one on one. In all honesty you should not be able to wrap your arms around another player.
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Monty Williams says LeBron “Plays Against Young Boys”, Jordan “Played Against Men”
I asked Monty whether or not LeBron dominates games the same way that Jordan does, given that he played against both, and the response was stellar– “Jordan played against men. LeBron plays against young boys. That’s the difference.”
This isn’t the first time that Monty made it known that NBA players today aren’t as manly as their predecessors. He’s made repeated reference to the fact that kids are entering the league immature, physically and mentally unable to play at the level he expects, but this may be the first time that he’s referred to much of the NBA as “young boys”.
It must be noted that Monty was one of the “men” that Jordan played against.
The comment was made in the aftermath of a stomping in New Orleans by the Heat.
Technically Monty is right (well, about the really young and immature players part). Do I think he's taking a lot of credit away from LeBron and a lot of the current NBA greats? Most definitely.
Monty keeps it real. Let the LeBron supporters hate but you can't deny the fact that he's right. The landscape has totally changed since his day. Things that wouldn't even be called fouls are now flagrants. If LeBron complains about the contact he gets now just imagine if he had to go through the Bad Boy Pistons and Pat Riley's Knicks. I will never forgive LeBron for creating the Heat and it will always be an asterisk on his career in my eyes when trying to put him in the conversation of the best ever.
Everyone is right with respect to commentary... First there was less money in the game... Jordon changed basketball within the same context as Tiger Woods' impact on golf... Even today, now that Tiger is winning again, everyone makes money... There was no Nike before Jordan and players wore baggy shorts in that era. It's difficult to compare Jordan to LeBron because frankly.. There is only one Jesus, one Martin Luther King, one Ronald Reagan, and one Michael Jordan... Then I don't see the championships... with LeBron..
I don't know much, but U can kind of see where he is coming from. They did seem more like grown men in the late-eighties/early-ninties. I think it was the mustaches.
JJacob raises a good question. There clearly are more "dinosaurs" playing now than back in the day, but I don't think it makes much of a statistical difference. Remember, Wilt was 37 and Jabbar 40 when they retired and there were others. Now way back in the day (well before Jordan) most of those guys worked two jobs and only played pickup during the offseason. Everything is different now. So to get all you young folks riled up again, yes...Jordan was a great player. Unstoppable..no, but great. Wilt was unstoppable. Stats don't lie. There is a reason he defined the statistical record books before we kept all the modern stats. Amongst his peers, he was that much better. Bill Russell was smarter and won more championships than anyone in the conversation....by a lot! His team was much better as well. So who is the "greatest ever?" Depends on how you want to gauge that. Basketball is a team game. Jordan won nothing until Pipen and a few others showed up. Same with LeBron. And everybody else. Sorry, but I have a hard time placing Jordan ahead of Oscar Robinson, the only man to ever average a triple double for a season! Can't wait for the haters to react to that one!
I buy what he's saying, because the NBA is a younger league than in Jordan's day. And yeah, LeBron complained about the hard fouls, but that's because NBA players are conditioned to complain about touch fouls.. it's the rules they've been playing with. How many superstars today aren't babies? LeBron is the most athletic player in the 3 point era, and if people don't think he could dominate in a physical NBA, then I think they need to take another look at him. If LeBron could use his strength to defend, he would be downright ridiculous. There was a really good article I read recently that put it perfectly. LeBron isn't Jordan, but he's playing at a level where we have no other comparison for him.
As an OG from Philly who grew up down the street from Wilt, played ball and have followed it religiously for going on 50 years, the one thing I can't stand is flat out wrong info. Don't care what your opinion is (who was the greatest, etc.) but get the fact right and don't make stuff up. The average age of an NBA player in 1985-86 was about 26.7 years old. In 2007-08 it was about 26.8. Now its actually somewhere between 26.7 and 26.9. Get the picture? What the heck is Monty talking about? I was around for the 1966 All-Star game, where the youngest player, Rick Barry, was 21. I think Wilt was the oldest at 28 or 29. In other words, the league in general, is NOT younger! So before running one's mouth, get the facts. What is true is that it is MUCH less violent and physical than in the 60's, 70's and 80's. But sorry folks, the athletes are in general flat out better now and if you look at shoot percentages, etc. you might also be surprised. As for Jordan and LeBron, as far as I'm concerned they are from pretty much the same era...except I think the league was weaker during Jordan's reign than before or now. Nuff said.
I have to agree that the game is certainly less physical than it was decades ago, and I haven't met an NBA fan that likes that change. But I would venture to say (venture b/c I'm admittedly too lazy to run the numbers) that the average age of the starting 5 on NBA teams has decreased over the years, while the overall age of the league has remained the same. I think Monty was pointing out that change with his quote rather than talking actual age numbers.
But how many players back then played until they were 37-40 like today? I know that traveling was crazy back then for players and hardcore conditioning wasn't stressed like today. Do you think that more old vets is making that average age number argument a stretch?
Agree with Monty to an extent here. It is true that the first game that Lebron played in an 80's environment (@ Bulls Wed.) he complained about hard fouls (not that hard). Jordan took much worse beatings and had to get past hand check. But I think Monty is pointing this more at his own team. We're the second youngest team in the NBA and he's pissed off about our effort (or lack thereof). I think he's also implying that back in the day the effort level was much higher because "men" were trying to make their living. Today the "boys" don't really understand the concept of that competitive nature of the 80's/90's..
This is just another one of Monty's great quotes. Is the Missing Piece still coming up today? Also, are we going to get to 2 pods per week, or is that only for the regular season?
If you think about he's right it's not a generation gap it's the reality that most NBA roster are young.It's not like 10 or 20 years ago when half of the NBA rosters had players over 30 years old.It's a crybaby generation they're solf and want their cake and eat it too.Monty grew up in a generation when a man was a man blue collar,hard working and tough not like the glamour boys in this generation.
Wait til the talking heads on ESPN get this quote.They're going to bash the crap out of Monty Williams
Monty is right for the most part, but I don't think "monty man" would match up well against LJ either. You can see what happens when you play hard against LJ ( bulls). They almost won.
Thanks for this Joe. I love how fans, and some media, will lean towards Monty only referring to this game and Hornets as "Young boys". Monty is the truth and I can't wait to "LOL" at all the recent Monty complainers! To include my favorite writers on this site as well!
I generally like Monty but that comment wasn't exactly classy. Every generation thinks their successors are somehow "less tough" than they were, but even if he feels that way privately he shouldn't express it publicly. Not only was it a slight directed at the greatest player currently playing, but it is fairly insulting to quite a lot of grown men, including 3/4 of his own team.
I concur. Monty is not only taking a lot of credit away from LeBron, but also the league's greatest current players.
Coach is correct.... I am sure he thinks he is a babysitter much of the time... All he can do is hang in there... Some of us remember the Detroit Pistons who either won the game or the fight... Now we are about to tell a running back in football not to drop his head... and in basketball if you blow by someone, its a foul... PLUS... Leaving a team to play with yo boy is a joke... It's hard to identify with a team considering who are the Magic now.. without Dwight Howard.. but agreeing with Coach... basketball will someday be as entertaining as a ballet..