I just watched an interview you did, mostly about Jordan and the Last Dance. Toward the end you said Oscar is the greatest point guard of all time. Do you think he would average a triple double in today's NBA? Is Westbrook a good comparison? Usually when Oscar is brought up anymore its only to compare his stats with Westbrook. Whose some other habitually underrated players from the past?
Westbrook is not a good comparison since Oscar played with a much higher IQ—maybe highest ever—and was a great shooter who also was a classic passer. Westbrook is a numbers guy with his energy, which is impressive, but nothing like Oscar.
It's difficult to compare stats. The modern argument is the talent wasn't as deep so it was easier to score then; of course, the other part is a shot is worth 50 percent more points now than it was then. When your defender could legally hold you while you were dribbling. It's become almost impossible to even have that conversation anymore because of the simpleton nature of much media and this hot takes thing. I understand it because the idea is to create debate whether you believe it or not. But it does pay much more than any of us ever earned giving our consideration to both sides. So they may be a lot smarter than we were. Chris Paul has a good game and he's a top five all-time point guard? What would they have said after Walt Frazier getting 36 and 19 against Wilt, Elgin and Jerry West in a Game 7 with his team's best player injured and Frazier the best defender on the floor? Or the wizardry and passing of Lenny Wilkens or Guy Rodgers, classic point guards. Or even John Lucas, also pure pre-drug. There was so much excellence. Donovan Mitchell wins a game and he's the best in franchise history and James Harden is the greatest scorer ever? It goes on and on depending on the previous night's result.
There's decades of underrated point guards because hardly anyone in media today saw them play. Rick Barry, for example, may have been one of the greatest around players ever, a brilliant shooter, passer, rebounder and solid defender who was the smartest guy on the court. The problem was he always told everyone. Even a guy like Michael Ray Richardson, later overtaken by drugs, could do so many amazing things. Bill Walton before maybe 36 surgeries could play just about every position on the floor as good as any All-Star at that position. Pete Maravich took your breath away. Earl Monroe did things with the ball that could be a Las Vegas magic act. Who knows how many more threes Lou Hudson would have made than Steph Curry if they let him shoot beyond 18 feet. Or Calvin Murphy. And if there was a three-point line. And remember this, Elgin Baylor averaged 38 and 19 one season playing games just on weekends off because he was in the Army commuting to games without any practice or adjusting to his teammates. And playing against teams led by Wilt and Bill Russell winning 50-plus games. Did you notice the other day with everyone going wild over Durant's great 49 points that it was only second to John Havlicek's 50-something without, by the way, any threes to jump the scoreboard faster. Imagine what they'd say about John Havlicek? You know, Boston's third or fourth best player.