Anthony Mason says the NBA today is "way softer" than it was when he played./AP Photo.
When he was in the NBA, Anthony Mason was a tough guy.
He played for one of the toughest teams of his era – the New York Knicks – when Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley and himself protected the painted area with size, force and intimidation.
Those days are long gone in his opinion.
“Now you get the rite of passage,” Mason said. “Now it’s a rite of passage. You get a layup. I get a layup. That’s how they do.”
In Erie, Pa., to watch his son, Anthony Mason Jr. play for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Mason said the NBA has changed dramatically from when he was out there bumping and bruising up folks.
“It’s a big difference,” said Mason, who averaged 10.9 points in his 13-year NBA career. Mason, whose final season was in 2002-03 with the Milwaukee Bucks, was an NBA All-Star with the Miami Heat in 2001 and the league’s Sixth Man of the Year while with the Knicks in 1994-95.
“Way softer. It’s not as exciting. I don’t think the teams are as balanced as they used to be. It’s kind of boring.”
Mason, who lives in New Rochelle, N.Y., drove seven hours to see his son, but Mason Jr. didn’t play tonight due to an injury.
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