All four had a chuckle, and then Hayes answered for himself.
“The one thing I would like to see back in the game, I think that young players today, players today, I think that the media is so huge now,” said Hayes. “And I think that players have to find themselves, basically because they travel now totally different, they don’t have to go through the airports, and I think that sometimes that’s great. But also I think the game has lost that closeness with its fans. I think that a lot of the legend players are going out doing a lot of things in the communities. Because when we used to walk down the street in New York, we would always do those things. We were always with the people everybody knew everything about you and knew you. Now, I don’t think that players are allowed to do that as much. They don’t feel as comfortable now because of the times, and situations, and the way things is in the world. I think that they are missing a lot of that.”
Gortat and Nene were asked the same question: Which aspect from the older generation would they like to see in the current NBA. Nene liked the old-school style of play. Gortat just couldn’t get those shorts off of his mind.
“I would take two different things,” said Gortat. “I would definitely make one of the nights old-school jersey and shorts. That would be funny, if everybody wore those. That would be great. I think they should come up with one night like that. The second thing, I would bring back the old basket construction, that you could actually break them. That would be great. And the third, if I could, the third I would bring back the size. Point guards the size of Magic Johnson. That’s ridiculous. If you could bring back the size, and have people with wingspans of 7-8, 7-9. If you could bring back that, that would be something incredible.”
I’m down with old-school uni night, but only if Ernie Grunfeld wears those orange striped pants.
(As Kyle Weidie notes, the Lakers actually did this a few years back.)