Outspoken Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley has been among the Golden State Warriors' biggest critics in recent years, and he furthered that reputation in an interview Thursday by taking aim at reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry.
According to Jack Winter and Spencer Lund of Dime Magazine, the 1993 MVP labeled Curry as "just a great shooter" and nothing more. Barkley also said Curry is "not a great playmaker" and offered an example of why he believes teams don't view him as an unstoppable player.
"No, they don't. 'Cause he played last week against (Washington Wizard point guard) John Wall and scored 51 and gave up 41," Barkley said. "And most people think that John Wall had a better game, because Steph had 10 turnovers and John Wall had 41 (points) and 15 assists."
His comments were consistent with things he has said before, as Barkley dubbed San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard the best player in the NBA over both Curry and LeBron James in January, as seen in this TNT video, courtesy of Bleacher Report:
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
Charles Barkley calls Kawhi Leonard the best player in the world https://t.co/HQyEPJSm4Z2016-1-15 01:34:15
Barkley wasn't completely negative, though, as he heaped effusive praise on former Los Angeles Lakers superstar and future Hall of Fame center Shaquille O'Neal.
Per Winter and Lund, Barkley suggested Shaq was the most dominant player he ever encountered during his time in the NBA: "What Shaq did, you can't...I never played against Wilt Chamberlain, but we've never had a player like Shaq. ... Yeah. He was just unstoppable."
There is no denying Shaq was a force to be reckoned with, but Curry has been dominant in a different way by averaging 29.8 points, 6.6 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game. He is shooting 50.8 percent from the field, primarily as a perimeter player.
Curry has also accomplished something Barkley never did during his illustrious career, as he won a championship last season. Based on the Dubs' dominance this season, another one may be on the way soon.
Barkley may not like the style of play Curry and the Warriors have popularized in the NBA due to his penchant for tough, gritty basketball, but dismissing the 27-year-old's all-around abilities is an opinion that seemingly doesn't resonate with most observers.
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