Even though he had to eat some crow at the beginning of this NBA season by acknowledging that he was wrong about the Warriors’ potential last season, Charles Barkley has still found ways to be critical of Golden State over the last few months. While speaking about the comparisons between this year’s Warriors and the 1995-96 Bulls team that went 72-10, Barkley said that those Bulls would “kill” the Warriors. He also said that, if this year’s Warriors played back in the 1990s, they would have gotten “mauled.” And now, Barkley has gone on the record and said that he doesn’t necessarily believe Steph Curry is as dominating a player as other people do.
During a sit-down interview with Dime in Toronto last night, Barkley was asked if he thinks what Curry is doing now is comparable to what Shaquille O’Neal did back during his NBA career. Obviously, they are two completely different players, and Shaq dominated the league in a much different way than Steph is doing now. But you could argue that both Shaq and Steph changed the game in their own ways. That’s not how Barkley sees things, though.
“He’s just a great shooter,” he told Dime while speaking about Curry. “It’s a totally different animal.”
As we mentioned, Barkley isn’t necessarily wrong about the “different animal” part. Shaq and Steph are very different players. But “just a great shooter”? Dime pressed Barkley about that notion and questioned whether Barkley thinks Curry is more than just a shooter.
“He’s not more than a shooter,” Barkley said. “He’s just a great shooter.”
But what about his six assists per game? Or his five rebounds per game? Or his ability to free up his teammates by shooting from just about anywhere on the floor and demanding double teams? Don’t those things make him more than “just a great shooter”? Isn’t Curry one of the NBA’s ultimate playmakers right now, if not the best playmaker in the league? According to Barkley, no.
“I wouldn’t say that,” he said. “He’s not a great playmaker. He’s just a great shooter.”
Barkley then went on to say that he doesn’t think NBA fans view Curry as “unstoppable” like they did with Shaq back when he was in the league.
“They don’t,” he said. “He played last week against John Wall and scored 51 and gave up 41. And most people think that John Wall had a better game, because Steph had 10 turnovers and John Wall had 41 and 15 assists.”
Sigh. Dime tried to get Barkley to stop digging himself deeper and deeper into a hole, but as you can see, it was no use. You can check out their interview with him here.
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