This year the Golden State Warriors finished with the best record in NBA history, 73-9. Their star, Steph Curry, became the first unanimous MVP in league history after shattering all sorts of records.
But despite all of this, NBA on TNT analyst Charles Barkley still thinks the NBA is at the worst level he’s ever seen.
Speaking with ArizonaSports.com, Barkley said the following:
“People think us old guys hate when we talk about it. It has nothing to do with the Warriors’ greatness, LeBron’s greatness. But I’ve never seen the NBA as bad as it is, and I’ve been saying it the last three or four years. We’ve got too many young players coming out of college that don’t know how to play. It’s frustrating for me because I want to see competitive basketball.
“We took a survey on our crew … How many actual NBA teams would you buy season tickets for? Four in the west and Cleveland obviously in the east. That’s not good for our league.”
You can listen to Barkley’s full interview here.
The NBA Hall of Famer does make some good points in his interview. For one, the Warriors’ complete dominance of the NBA does make the rest of the league look bad while also making Golden State look great. On top of that, Curry’s ability to win the MVP unanimously shows that the league doesn’t have as many star players as it might have used to.
But what wipes a lot of this away is the fact that Barkley has a long history of complaining about the modern NBA, and specifically about the Warriors.
DIME: We saw in the early 2000s with Shaquille O’Neal that it was obvious that he was going to score – just with his sheer power, size, and skill. It was kind of the same with you in the early 1990s, too. Does Steph compare to that at all? That feeling of inevitability you guys provided at your peak?
Charles Barkley: He’s just a great shooter. It’s a totally different animal.
But he’s more than a shooter, right? Because he’s –
No. He’s not more than a shooter. He’s just a great shooter.
So, he’s not an incredible playmaker? Doesn’t make the game easier on his teammates? Stuff like that?
I wouldn’t say that. But he’s not a great playmaker. He’s just a great shooter.
What’s interesting, too, is that this isn’t even the first time this year Barkley has slammed the NBA for its current state.
“It’s been very awful basketball this year. Awful. I mean just bad,” he said. “I’m not no old guy hating. But unless Golden State is playing the Clippers, the Cavs, Oklahoma City or the Spurs, I’m not gonna watch a full [game]. It’s not very good basketball, and I love basketball. There’s probably five games (that are worth) watching top-to-bottom.”
Maybe Charles is just slowly turning into one of those old guys who always talks about the “good ‘ole days” and how the league was better when he played.