Klay Thompson is, in the eyes of basically everyone, one of the best basketball players in the game. Sure, he’s the third or fourth best player on his own team, but Thompson is a deadeye shooter who can score in a variety of ways while playing pretty solid defense.
It is a bit of a stretch, though, to call Thompson the second-best all-around basketball player on earth. One man is willing to take that stretch, though: Charles Barkley, who gave this title to the Warriors’ All-Star on Tuesday afternoon, much to the chagrin of his co-hosts on Inside the NBA.
In fairness to Barkley, he believes that Spurs star Kawhi Leonard is “right there” with Thompson on the heels of the best player on earth – who, non-controversially, Barkley believes is LeBron James. He’s also convinced that Kevin Durant, who joined forces with Thompson on the Warriors this offseason, is “right there after those guys.”
This is a really hot take from Barkley, as he’s putting Thompson over stars on other teams (Russell Westbrook, James Harden, etc.) and some of his own teammates (Durant, Steph Curry, Draymond Green). Odds are that Thompson’s ability on the defensive end of the floor – which, while not game-changing is really good – and his ability to make shots is what makes him such a good player in Barkley’s eyes. And to be frank, Barkley is correct that Thompson is a very good all-around basketball player, but putting him as the second-best player on earth is something with which many people will probably not agree.