Charles Barkley is paid to have his opinion as an analyst for TNT—which he does fucking better than anyone else—and, while appearing on ESPN’s Russillo & Kanell radio show Friday, Sir Charles gave a bold statement that might ruffle some feathers.
Breathe deep, Warriors fans, because Barkley doesn’t think two-time league MVP is the best all-around player in the NBA.
Here’s a quick transcript, via Russillo & Kanell:
“LeBron and Kawhi Leonard are, to me, the two best players in the world. Steph Curry’s the best offensive player in the world. … [They’re] better all-around. If you actually watch the Warriors play, Klay Thompson always guards the best guard. That’s not a knock. Larry Bird wasn’t a great defender, Magic Johnson wasn’t a great defender. But they’re still probably two of the 10 greatest players ever. Steph is amazing, and that’s not hating on him.”
Now, this shouldn’t really come as too much of a surprise given Steph has never been known for his ability to shutdown an opposing player—even if he did just lead the league in steals per game. But still, suggesting that Curry might not even be the best all-around player on his own team just seems insane.
In Barkley’s defense, the Hall of Famer did say that he would’ve given Curry his vote for league MVP again this year, although, c’mon, the Dubs still would’ve been sick as hell without him, while the Cavs would’ve struggled to make the postseason with LeBron James. And the debate carries on.