Does Charles Barkley hate the Golden State Warriors? Perhaps. Or maybe he doesn’t care about facts, and keeps insisting that the team relying on shooting isn’t the right way to win championships, and that the road to the Finals was easy for them, while also taking kind of a shot at LeBron James.
Speaking to CSN, the Hall of Famer and now TNT talking head repeated what he’s been saying even before the Warriors ended up winning a championship: That jump-shooting teams can’t win titles, and even added that the Warriors didn’t beat any dominant big men along the way. We’ll get to that in a minute.
I’ve been on television for 16 years, and I’ve said the exact same thing for 16 years: I’m not big on jump shooting teams. And the one year you guys have a terrific season, y’all took it personally. They had a terrific season. Steve Kerr did a fantastic job. They have the best backcourt in the NBA. And congratulate them.
It always makes me laugh. I’ve said the same thing for 16 years, I don’t like jump-shooting teams. And y’all finally have a good team and all of a sudden everybody thinks I don’t like the Golden State Warriors. I still think if Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving had’ve been healthy, they would have won that series.
LeBron flat out ran out of gas. But you put two more All-Stars on that team, the Warriors still might have won but I would have picked the Cavs if everyone was healthy. LeBron should call his movie Trainwreck 2, because the finals was Trainwreck 1.
Barkley is right about the hypothetical situation here: What if Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving would have been healthy for the entire Finals (Irving was out in overtime of game 1; Love didn’t play a single minute past the first round of the postseason)? Would the Cavaliers have won? We can’t say, but it was quite clear that James was carrying a massive load in the six game series, while the role players around him didn’t exactly function at a higher level for more than two games.
As for the big men part? The Warriors played against some of the best big men, centers or power forwards, in the NBA during their playoff run: Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. Are they dominant? Depends on what you’re comparing them to. Barkley played in the 1980’s and 1990’s. He remembers Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing and Shaquille O’Neal.
The NBA is different now. Big men are always important and sought after, but don’t mean as much in terms of offense as they once did. And jump shooting? Turns out you can win championships with it, but the Warriors were much more than just a team that got lucky with its shots. They did have luck and fortune during the season and playoffs, like every champion has always had. But they’re also one of the more impressive champions in recent history, because they’re a lot more than just a streaky shooting team that got in the zone for 8 months.