Patrick Ewing once said that he would be Michael Jordan if he played present day due to the fact that, according to him, there aren’t many good centers.
Michael Jordan seems to be the measuring stick for greatness nowadays as nearly every single player from that era and before claims they would’ve been as great as him if they played present day. Patrick Ewing is merely a single past NBA legend in a long line of legends who have criticized the direction in which the league has gone over the years.
When asking big men like Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley about big-men today, they didn’t have a lot many good things to say. Chuck claimed floor spacing bigs took away their size advantage as players would give guys like Joel Embiid and Anthony Davis looks from beyond the arc any day of the week, rather than have them play bully-ball in the paint.
Patrick Ewing gave his two cents on the topic as well, sharing a similar sentiment to Barkley and the rest of the players from that era.
Patrick Ewing confidently states that he would be Michael Jordan if he played in this era.
Several rule changes like defensive 3-seconds, the elimination of hand-checking, and an overall decrease in physicality in the league has led legends like Patrick Ewing to believe they would’ve excelled in today’s modern NBA.
“There’s not that many great centers. I’d be Michael Jordan in this era. It’s definitely changed, the way that teams play, the way that everybody spreads the floor. Most big guys now, instead of posting up, they want to get out there and shoot threes,” said the Knicks legend.
Patrick Ewing would then go on to compare his style of play that mainly involved post-play and 15-footers to guys like Joel Embiid who stay around the 3-point line to get a shot up or drive into the lane.
It’s safe to say that old-timers like Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, and Patrick Ewing aren’t exactly thrilled about the big-men in the league trending towards guard-play.