In an interview before the Los Angeles Lakers took on the Chicago Bulls on Monday night, injured superstar Kobe Bryant offered his thoughts regarding the lack of physicality in today’s NBA.
Bryant said the game of basketball is too focused on “finesse” now, and that the hand-check rule established during the 2004-05 seasons has made it easier for less-talented offensive players to score:
It’s more of a finesse game. It’s more small ball, which, personally, I don’t really care much for. I like kind of smash-mouth, old-school basketball because that’s what I grew up watching. I also think it’s much, much less physical. Some of the flagrant fouls that I see called nowadays, it makes me nauseous. You can’t touch a guy without it being a flagrant foul.
As a defensive player, if you enjoy playing defense, that’s what you want. You want to be able to put your hands on a guy. You want to be able to hand check a little bit. The truth is, it makes the game [where] players have to be more skillful. Nowadays, literally anybody can get out there and get to the basket and you can’t touch anybody (ESPN).
There’s plenty of other interesting tidbits int he ESPN piece — including Bryant’s ribbing of teammate Pau Gasol — so go check it out.
The Bulls won Monday’s game 102-100 in overtime.