June 10, 2023
Angry Klay calls Barkley over 'slipping' comments

Angry Klay calls Barkley over ‘slipping’ comments

Amid a slow start to the 2022-23 NBA season, Klay Thompson had been cooking for a few days. He vented some of his anger Tuesday night when he was thrown out during the Warriors’ loss to the Phoenix Suns.

The rest of Thompson’s pent-up frustration came out at the end of his post-game press conference after the Warriors pulled off a setback win over the Miami Heat at the Chase Center Thursday night.

The Warriors shooting guard got wind of the comments from TNT’s Charles Barkley after Golden State’s 29-point loss to the Suns, and two days later, after answering reporters’ questions, Thompson ended his press conference by saying the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall exclaimed Bauer.

“I have to say one thing,” Thompson said after the Warriors beat the heat 123-120 on Thursday. “So it hurts when someone like Charles Barkley, with the platform that he has, says you’re not the same player before the injuries that you were. It’s like ‘No, duh, man.’ Consecutive years, like. I’ve torn my ACL and Achilles tendon for consecutive years and still helped the team win a championship. It hurt to hear that because I took so much damn effort to get back to this point. It’s hard to even put into words what I had to do to be the player I am today.

“I played 55, 57 games in three years. Give me some damn time to get that back. Hearing someone say, ‘Oh, he’s not the same player he was before the injuries.’ Who goes through this and comes back… I don’t know, it just hurt my heart to hear that, but you know, I’ll internalize it and it’ll give me fuel to live up to better. I’m very proud of what we achieved last year and I feel like I played a big part in it. I will not let these injuries become a crutch for me. I’m just going to keep going and I’m going to have a great year. You can bet on that.”

Thompson wasn’t playing well against the Suns when he started chatting with Devin Booker. In the third quarter, Thompson was ejected and ended up just two points in the loss.

Shortly after the game, Barkley felt encouraged to rant about Thompson and Draymond Green.

“This team is older, Ernie [Johnson]. That’s what’s really happening to them,” Barkley said Tuesday on Inside the NBA. “You are older. Go back and watch the finals. Who were the guys that helped them win? It was [Andrew] Wiggins and [Jordan] Poole… it’s up to these young guys [Jonathan] Come on, [Moses] Moody, Poole and [James] Wise man. Because I think as much as I love Klay, he’s slipping. The same goes for Draymond. They are not the same. In the final you can see that they are not the same guys as they were two or three years ago. So when I see the Warriors play, I’m like, ‘Oh man, Father Time is knocking on some of these guys’ doors.’

“These guys have won four championships, it’s like playing two or three extra seasons,” Barkley continued. “You are over 30 (years old), you take into account Klay who has had two major surgeries. I think you saw tonight he says, ‘This boy is kicking my ass, there’s nothing I can do about it.’ There was a time when Klay Thompson was the best two-way guard in the NBA and he’s not the same guy anymore and that’s because of injuries. is he done No, I don’t think he’s finished. I think he’s slowing down and that’s catching him, so he’s frustrated.

“I think the same goes for Draymond, he’s slowing down, we just saw that in the final. Because there’s energy in his game, and when you’re over 30 you lose – especially if you play deep in the playoffs every year – – That’s why I said Steph [Curry] I’ve got a lot more work to do now, these young guys really have to step up or this team won’t win the championship if these young guys don’t start carrying the team.

Thompson bounced back with a 19-point performance against the Heat. He shot 6 of 19 from field and 5 of 14 from 3-point range.

Curry was asked about Thompson’s postgame comments and noted that he felt his fellow backcourt was in a good mood throughout the day, likely because he was fueled by what Barkley was saying.

“The comments are part of our success as if you are always in the spotlight and people care about how you play and care to comment positively or negatively because they know it will move the needle,” Curry told reporters after the win Thursday. “And if you say certain names, people will pay attention. But it’s interesting because certain people forget what their careers looked like on the back end. So you can throw and throw those rocks but Klay is still here like you said and helped us win a championship after the two hellish years he had.

“And now for him it’s just a matter of balancing expectations of what he was before the injuries and what he can come back to while still maintaining his grip on winning. I’m sure he’s comparing himself to the stat lines and percentages and all that, but I think I’ve heard coaches [Steve Kerr] talk about it beforehand. He went through that, even before the injuries where slow starts don’t really hold him down, don’t destroy his confidence. But when you come out of a championship you have such a hunger and desire to get back to being what he personally wants to be. And he will get there. It’s just a matter of sticking to the program, to the time he puts in. Its competition fire that comes out every night. And he will take pictures. We’re not worried about that. It’s a long season.”

Thompson’s stated personal goal is to return to his NBA All-Star form, and he knows it will take time to get back to that level. He just wishes Barkley understood that.

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