I have a question I’d like to throw out there. It’s something I’ve thought about for a while now, and it’s an observation that’s more timely now than it ever is.
Why do we have to hear from former players all the time? I mean, is there really any point?
Here’s an example of what I mean by that.
Hall of Fame basketball player Rick Barry joined Fox Sports Radio this weekend to talk NBA Finals with Rob Parker and Mark Willard. The conversation lasted all of a minute before devolving into a good old-fashioned name-calling and credential measuring contest.
Here’s what happened. Parker asked Barry about LeBron James’ decision to pass to Kyle Korver in the final minute of Game 3 instead of taking the shot himself. Barry wasn’t having the suggestion it was the wrong move.
“You’ve got to stop because you don’t know the game,” Barry responded. “You guys don’t know the game and should be ashamed of yourself.
Parker fired back that he’s been covering the game of basketball for 31 years. Some back and forth about “respecting the business” was had before Barry called Parker a “loser.”
In the end, Barry apologized for making things personal, which, depending on your viewpoint may not have been necessary.
It was one huge screaming match between two guys with big egos. But here’s the point, why would we possibly need to hear from the old guy that Rick Barry is right now? What does he possibly bring to the table about the game of basketball in 2017? There’s no point in interviewing every single former player about the current state of his or her sports. All that will happen is these old guys like Rick Barry and Charles Barkley will get defensive and blindly support their era. Either that, or they will get defensive about something else like basketball knowledge as Barry did.
I mean it seems like there’s a bunch of old players nowadays who want to talk about how they could beat the Warriors or about how great their era was. Steve Kerr had a great sarcastic quote last week when he was asked about this very subject:
"They're all right," Kerr said. "They would all kill us. The game gets worse as time goes on. Players are less talented than they used to be. The guys in the '50s would've destroyed everybody. It's weird how human evolution goes reverse in sports. Players get weaker, smaller, less skilled. I don't know. I can't explain it."
I’m certainly sick and tired of hearing from these old players. I don’t think it adds any value to a discussion about the 2017 NBA Finals. Rarely does an old former player provide something during an interview that’s actually good content. Most of the time it’s just nonsense.
So please, let’s stop putting a microphone in front of every single old guy who’s ever played the game. It’s a waste of our time and I know we can find better ways to fill space without stooping to ex-player interviews.