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Garnett Lists Lillard Among the Guards that ‘Changed the Game’

In an interview with the New York Times, NBA legend Kevin Garnett pointed to Damian Lillard’s three-point ability as an example of how the NBA has changed.

Brooklyn Nets v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

NBA legend Kevin Garnett mentioned Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard in recent interview with The New York Times. Garnett, who is promoting his upcoming book, was asked how the league has changed since he exited competition. The former star pointed to the offensive-first style of today’s game and the skill that modern guards possess.

In regards to defense, Garnett outlined the familiar argument that is tied to contact.

I don’t think guys from 20 years ago could play in this game. Twenty years ago, guys used their hands to control players. Now you can’t use your hands. That makes defense damn near impossible. Can you imagine not hand-checking Michael Jordan? Naw. The fact that you can’t touch players gives the offensive player so much flexibility.

In regards to backcourt players, Garnett spotlighted the talents that Lillard, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.

And Steph Curry revolutionized things with being able to shoot it from distance with such consistency. Klay Thompson. Dame Lillard. These guards changed the game. I don’t know if even the guards from 20 or 30 years ago could play in this time right here. It’s creative. It’s competitive. It’s saucy. You’ll get dropped! A [expletive] will cross you over and break your A.C.L. these days. The game is in a great place.

Garnett last appeared on the court during the 2015-16 season. Through 1,462 regular season contests in his career, Garnett posted averages of 17.8 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.

You can read Garnett’s full interview at The New York Times.