Please don't ever change, Matt Barnes.
The Los Angeles Clippers swingman spent his Monday night watching an old-school, 1985-style battle between the Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics, and it didn't make him look too favorably upon the current style of play in the NBA.
You could hand check. Wat happened to that style of play? #REALHOOP!! The NBA is so soft now, but I guess u can say that bout all sports smh— Matt Barnes (@Matt_Barnes22) August 6, 2013
Hand checks are indeed disallowed now, but there are quite a few people who might disagree with Barnes' assessment.
Kobe Bryant, for example.
There's nothing "soft" about the failure to flinch when a ball is thrust into your face. Soft human beings would recoil in fear or at least blink rapidly. Hell, normal human beings are supposed to do that reflexively.
Is the NBA too soft?
If anything, Barnes should be thankful the league isn't allowed to stick a hand out and slow down offensive players anymore. It has allowed him to become a more valuable player, as he's able to play elite defense and stand out against the crowd.
The 33-year-old just had the best season of his career, helping the Clippers with his glue-guy mentality and great defensive skills. In fact, according to Basketball-Reference, L.A. allowed 4.7 fewer points per 100 possessions when Barnes was on the court.
Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, Larry Bird and Robert Parish probably provided a nice contrast in style. I have no doubt that what Barnes watched during his free time stood out in stark contrast to modern-day NBA play.
After all, Barnes would know better than most.