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‘This is not the American style’: Ex-NBA star Gilbert Arenas says ‘get rid of all the Europeans’ to make the NBA better | Blaze Media

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Former NBA player Gilbert Arenas suggested that ridding the basketball league of most European players would improve the style of play, which he said has become less defensive due to catering to players from that region.

“I know what they can do [to stop the offense]. Get rid of all the Europeans,” Arenas said on his own podcast, “Gil’s Arena.”

Speaking to current professional player Norris Cole and former players Rashad McCants and Kenyon Martin, Arenas said that he felt there was a lack of defensive fundamentals with European players, who typically play in European leagues before entering the NBA, as opposed to a U.S. college.

“You go to college to learn defense. What college do Europeans go to? They have no athleticism. They have no speed, no jumping ability. They are a liability on defense,” Arenas continued.

NBA Draft eligibility rules have become incredibly complicated in recent years, as opposed to earlier times when a player could be drafted as soon as they turned 18, or out of high school. Rules were eventually changed to require a player to spend at least one year in college, but amendments were made to allow for playing in other leagues or in the NBA’s development system instead.

“There are 150 Euros in the league today … name the top defenders. None! Just Rudy Gobert and [Giannis Antetokounmpo]. Other than that, they are offensive players, not defensive players,” Arenas declared.

Arenas and his cohosts compared offensive numbers in the modern NBA to historical numbers, showcasing that offensive statistics have risen to record levels.

“So, the NBA took away aggression to open the Euro-league. When they first started it was too rough for them … so eventually they softened the rules, they didn’t soften the rules for the Americans, they softened the rules to open it up international.”

“This is not our league, this is not the American style. This is the Euro style,” Arenas added.

Other outlets such as EuroHoops suggested that playing in other leagues was an equivalent to playing at an American college, while Deadspin called Arenas’ remarks “xenophobic.”

Since leaving the NBA in 2012, Arenas has been outspoken about a plethora of issues.

In 2023, the All-NBA player criticized “the LGBT” for attempts to police language and make others adhere to terms that they have made up.

“The LGBT, right, I think it’s the most unfair group walking the planet right now,” Arenas described. “They have a playbook that only they are playing by, that they can only see, no one else gets to see this playbook, but we’re being judged by everything that’s in this playbook, but we don’t know it,” he opined.

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