Charles Barkley never fails to vocalize his strongly-worded opinion, for better or worse.
This was the case, yet again, when the Hall of Famer — who spent 16 seasons in the NBA — doubled down on his criticism of Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson, referencing one specific game in which the five-time All-Star struggled mightily to contain Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker.
“Klay’s still a heck of a player, but he’s never gonna be that best two-guard in the NBA that he was for a long time,” Barkley told Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report. “Because of age, Achilles and ACL. And I was disappointed that he overreacted, cause he 100 percent overreacted. Cause I said, ‘He’s still a good player, but his days of being the best two-guard in the NBA’ — I’ma tell you what happened that night. Cause I’ve been there. Devin Booker was kicking his (expletive). And, when you get older, and you like, ‘This guy is kicking my (expletive), there’s nothing I can do about it.’ Cause that was really hard for me.”
The night Barkley referenced was likely Nov. 25, when the Suns dominated the Warriors en route to a 134-105 win. Booker led all scorers in the victory, leading the way with 34 points and seven assists, while Thompson — who started — only scored two points while shooting 1-of-8 from the field and missed all five of his 3-point attempts. Through 17 games played this season, the night served as Thompson’s worst in regards to both his scoring and outside shooting.
“You could tell Klay was frustrated because he started talking about the four rings, Barkley said. “Which nobody could ever take them four rings and he’s one of the best players ever. But that night, Devin Booker beat his (expletive), and there was nothing he could do about it.”
Prior to Tuesday’s matchup against the Dallas Mavericks, Thompson had averaged 17.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists per contest, shooting 40.7% from the field, 40% from beyond the arc and 80.8% from the charity stripe.
To Barkley’s credit, Thompson’s scoring average and field goals made per game (6.3) are both the lowest he’s notched since his second year in the NBA back in the 2012-13 season.