Charles Barkley isn’t singing a different tune regarding his comments about Klay Thompson’s supposedly declining play. Despite the pushback from fans and other players, “Sir Chuck” is sticking to his original analysis of Thompson’s struggles this season.
In an interview with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, the former NBA MVP had this to say about the whole Thompson brouhaha:
"I was caught off guard because I went back and looked and I said, 'Klay is still a heck of a player, but he's never going to be the best two-guard in the NBA that he was for a long time because of age, Achilles and ACL.’
"I didn't call him a bum, I said he's still a heck of a player. But that one night, I saw myself a little bit like man, getting older is no joke.
"See, that's the one thing that sucks about sports ... Father Time is undefeated -- it's going to get everybody."
Charles Barkley’s comments came after the Golden State Warriors were run out of the building by the Phoenix Suns on October 25. Klay Thompson struggled badly in that game, playing just 19 minutes and finishing with two measly points. Thompson was 1-8 from the field, missing all five of his three-point shots.
Thompson’s night was cut short when he was ejected for the first time in his career after a heated back-and-forth with Devin Booker. The Suns’ superstar torched the four-time champ for 34 points on 10-19 shooting. Charles Barkley was covering that game for TNT and couldn't believe what he was seeing.
Klay Thompson taunted Booker and the Suns' bench about the Warriors’ four titles during several nasty exchanges. Booker, after the game, showed respect to the Warriors’ shooting guard, saying it was all about competition.
“Killa Klay’s” performance has improved over the last five games before last night’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks. He averaged 24.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals. Thompson shot 53.8% from the field, including a sizzling 56.0% from beyond the arc.
Before that, Thompson’s play had been so bad that some basketball fans and analysts were urging Steve Kerr to bench the legendary shooter. Kerr refused to bench Thompson, hoping his superstar will eventually find his shooting touch.
Charles Barkley’s comments about Klay Thompson may not be totally out of bounds
Steph Curry pushed back on Charles Barkley’s take on Klay Thompson’s decline. Curry’s mom, Sonya Curry propped up the other half of the Splash Bros. while also taking a subtle shot at Barkley.
As the season moves forward, “Chuck’s” analysis may not be too far off. Thompson was exceptional in his previous five games, but could still struggle in the future.
Against the Dallas Mavericks last night, Klay Thompson scored just five points in 31 minutes. He was 2-9 from the field and 1-6 from three-point distance. The five-time All-Star also missed a potential game-tying three-pointer to force overtime.
It isn’t just Thompson’s offense that has dropped this season. His once solid defense now only appears in spurts. Teams have started targeting him on the defensive end, something that never happened to him in his career.
If Thompson’s season is defined by more nights like the one he had in Dallas, then Charles Barkley could have been right all along.