Even casual NBA fans know where Charles Barkley stands on the record-breaking Golden State Warriors by now. Just in case anyone else across the country was unaware of his stance with regard to the defending champions, though, the NBA On TNT star recently made it known to a much broader audience than normal.
During an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Barkley if he was ready to “jump on board” with the Warriors winning a second consecutive title. The Hall of Famer’s response is almost as unsurprising as his subsequent wager with Steven Colbert.
Barkley, remember, was down on the chances of Golden State to hoist a Larry O’Brien Trophy last season. And even as Steve Kerr’s team continues making history and sets its sights on the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ all-time record for regular season wins, he’s still unconvinced it’s title material.
The 53 year old makes no secret of the justification behind his relative lack of confidence in the Warriors. He played in a time when the league was known for back-to-basket big men and all-out physicality more than anything else. Those traits don’t align with the modern NBA, of course, and Golden State’s incredible success is one of the biggest reasons why.
Barkley, for instance, thinks Steph Curry is “just a shooter.”
We don’t agree with him on the Warriors’ status as prohibitive favorites, let alone his assessment of Curry. Regardless, picking a team other than Golden State to be the last one standing come mid June isn’t exactly going out on a limb. The San Antonio Spurs are a juggernaut of similar proportions, and the Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers, and Cleveland Cavaliers are all elite teams led by multiple future Hall of Famers.
This league is absolutely stacked at the top. A minor injury or even a bad bounce or two could be all that keeps the Warriors from repeating as champions. Is that the means behind Barkley’s tepid appraisal of Golden State? It seems not. Either way, submitting that Curry and company won’t win another championship shouldn’t quite make headlines – whether it’s Barkley saying so or someone else entirely.