Charles Barkley Says Stephen Curry Isn't a Top-4 NBA Player; LeBron James No. 1

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 15, 2018

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 12: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts during a game against the Toronto Raptors on December 12, 2018 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Noah Graham/Getty Images

Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley doesn't believe Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry is one of the NBA's current top four players.

On Saturday, TMZ Sports provided comments from Barkley, who listed the Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James as the best player in the league followed by a group that includes the Warriors' Kevin Durant, Toronto Raptors' Kawhi Leonard and Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo.

"I love Steph, but he's not with those guys," he said.

Curry owns an impressive resume, highlighted by three NBA championships, two regular-season MVP Awards, five All-Star Game selections and a scoring title, which will eventually land him a spot in the Hall of Fame alongside Barkley.

The question about the three-point sharpshooter has always been his defense.

He's posted middling defensive numbers this season—No. 23 among point guards in ESPN's Defensive Real Plus-Minus—and teams have targeted him at that end of the floor despite some strong advanced stats in the past.

Curry hasn't been able to shake the label of a questionable defender, however, and that impacts the discussion about the best players in the league.

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The Warriors stalwart can at least rest easy knowing he's a much better golfer than Barkley.