Today's NBA Players Must Toughen Up

Alex Kay@AlexPKayCorrespondent IApril 17, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 25: Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls reacts after a foul call against the Memphis Grizzlies at the United Center on March 25, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Grizzlies 99-96. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The modern NBA is nothing like the good old days, back when men were men and fouls were fouls.

It’s becoming borderline ridiculous what passes for a foul in the league and it’s downright incredulous to see what is classified as a flagrant foul nowadays.

Jeff Van Gundy, broadcaster for the NBA on ABC and ESPN, went on an epic rant that ended up trending on Twitter this past Sunday after watching a flop in a nationally televised game.

He pointed out the ridiculous call cost the New York Knicks an important three against the Miami Heat because Iman Shumpert lightly bumped into James Jones after passing the ball.

Van Gundy was right to go as far as saying “it [flopping] ruins the game.” The league needs to figure out a way to stop it before it becomes even more rampant and ruins the sport in the public’s eye, much like soccer is looked down upon in America as less of a sport because of the dives.

The younger superstars also need to keep their mouths shut after they get fouled and just go to the line to hit their free throws.

Derrick Rose has spoken out about being hit too hard when he goes to the paint. According to ESPN Chicago, Rose complained again on Sunday—less than a month after crying about physical play got him a $25,000 fine from the league office.

"I'm sick and tired of people trying to take cheap shots at me.” Rose said. You got to say something."

Rose isn't sure why he feels like some players go after him.

"I really don't know," he said. "Probably because I don't say anything or whatever, but I'm a man, where in situations like that you have to say something."

Rose, a 6’3”, 190-pound point guard, needs to toughen up if he wants to keep going to the lane and get bailed out with superstar calls.

It’s not as bad as 6’10”, 250-pound Blake Griffin whining about getting hit too hard in the post.

“I’m definitely sick of taking hard hits,” Griffin said after the Clippers’ shootaround Monday. “…There’s a point, I can’t remember what game it was, in my mind where I thought this is kind of ridiculous. I’m sick of it, but it’s going to keep on happening.”

Griffin was famously on the receiving end of the season’s most bone-crushing hit. He was sent to the ground after New Orleans Hornets big man Jason Smith delivered a shot earlier this season, which drew a standing ovation from the crowd in the Big Easy.

These kids need to grow up and go watch footage of Michael Jordan if they want to learn about toughness and going to the paint.

The greatest player of all time had a set of freaking rules designed by the Detroit Pistons to stop him from scoring.

Chuck Daly, the coach who implemented the Jordan Rules, described them as such:

“If Michael was at the point, we forced him left and doubled him. If he was on the left wing, we went immediately to a double team from the top. If he was on the right wing, we went to a slow double team. He could hurt you equally from either wing—hell, he could hurt you from the hot-dog stand—but we just wanted to vary the look. And if he was on the box, we doubled with a big guy.

The other rule was, any time he went by you, you had to nail him. If he was coming off a screen, nail him. We didn't want to be dirty—I know some people thought we were—but we had to make contact and be very physical.”

The Bulls superstar was constantly facing a number of defenders and being hammered all game long by the opposition.

Jordan is just one of the toughest players in league history. That dying breed included men like Charles Oakley, Dennis Rodman, Larry Bird and only can count a few active players among them.

Guys like Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Garnett and Steve Nash need to teach these kids something about being a man before they retire.

The NBA is going to be thought of as a league full of weaklings and cowards if they don’t.