West believes the players today are more physically advanced than in previous eras.
Former Indiana Pacers big man David West recently stated LeBron James is better than Michael Jordan, as he firmly believes the players today are more physically advanced than in previous eras.
West recently sat down to talk about the current NBA, the GOAT debate, and the way the game has evolved over time and covered all three aspects when giving the nod to LeBron over Jordan.
“Anthony Mason was 245, Patrick Ewing was 235, so physically, there was a time in the NBA where Memphis, for instance, when Memphis has Z-Bo and Gasol, you’re talking about 275 at the power forward and center. You’re talking about just bigger, stronger people. So it’s not a matter of who’s doing what; if you’re playing shooting guard at 213 pounds, how can you deal with a 275-pound wing? It’s free throws. LeBron would have shot just as many free throws as Michael, if not more, because how do you stop somebody who is naturally 250 pounds. LeBron is naturally a 250-pound dude. In terms of raw player ability, I go with LeBron,” West said.
West knows a thing or two about James’ dominance physically, as he went toe-to-toe with the current Los Angeles Lakers superstar when in the playoffs.
At that time, LeBron was suiting up for the Miami Heat and was in the thick of his athletic prime. It was evident he was a level above the competition in terms of physical dominance during his Heat days, and it’s safe to say he would have been just as unstoppable if he had been thrown into any previous era with considerably inferior athletes to run through.
West himself was a physical, smash-mouth forward during his career. Standing at six-foot-nine and 250 pounds, the two-time NBA All-Star was an imposing presence on the floor and witnessed first-hand the transition from one era to another given he entered the league in 2003 – the same draft as James.
He’s right, you know
When viewing West’s comments through an objective lens, it’s hard to argue with his fundamental points that the players, over time, have become physically stronger and more gifted athletically.
It’s understandably hard to stomach for old heads, but when looking back at supposedly physically dominant players in the 80s and 90s, they’d be undersized at their position in the current NBA.