The Golden State Warriors have been the subject of both praise and criticism since the team managed to snag the NBA championship from the clutches of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Among the team's players, however, Stephen Curry has been at the receiving end of various disparaging remarks. Ranging from comparisons to the icons like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, the NBA MVP has experienced intense scrutiny.
The latest NBA star to be compared to Curry is none other than Shaquille O'Neal. Dubbed as yet another polarizing figure in the basketball community, the 43-year-old former Los Angeles Lakers star has gained the respect and admiration of even the best players in the NBA. One of his most formidable supporters is Charles Barkley.
In an interview with Dime Magazine, the retired Houston Rockets star slammed comparisons that place the young Curry side by side the great O'Neal. According to Barkley, the Golden State Warriors star does not present the same skill set seen during the height of the renowned NBA Hall of Famer's career.
"He's just a great shooter," said Barkley, referring to Curry. He added, "It's a totally different animal." These comments are in response to the interviewers questions on the similarities between O'Neal and Curry.
Pressed to look into the other aspects of the NBA MVP's basketball persona, Barkley insisted that Curry does not excel beyond shooting. He asserted, "No. He's not more than a shooter. He's just a great shooter."
Unlike O'Neal, who is known as a great leader and well-rounded player, Barkley noted that Curry has nothing of those capabilities. He pointed out, "[H]e's not a great playmaker. He's just a great shooter."
Veering away from the comparison to O'Neal, Barkley noted that John Wall played an even better game against Curry in the face off between the Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards. He said, "[H]e played last week against John Wall and scored 51 and gave up 41. And most people think that John Wall had a better game, because Steph had 10 turnovers and John Wall had 41 and 15 assists." The Golden State Warriors won the said game 134-121.
Moreover, Barkley highlighted that O'Neal was "unstoppable" in his prime. Apart from critiquing Curry, the retired NBA star also shared his doubts on the capacity of the Golden State Warriors to continuously win championships. Barkley said, "Jump-shooting teams don't win titles."
In contrast to the doubts expressed by Barkley, the Golden State Warriors appear to be confident in their abilities to dominate the NBA season once again. Klay Thompson, in an interview with ESPN Radio, shared that his team has the capacity to surpass the Chicago Bulls' record of 72 wins in one season.
"Oh, we will," said Thompson who will be joining Curry and Draymond Green in the 2016 NBA All-Star weekend in Toronto. At the moment, the Golden State Warriors hold a 48-4 record.
Although confident, Thompson also shared that the Golden State Warriors find their dominance in the NBA surreal.
"Just to be in the conversation of 'You guys can do it' is crazy. It's great. I would have never imagined this. Growing up, I always thought that record was untouchable. Obviously, we're playing for more than just 73 wins -- we're playing for a championship -- but if it's right there for us, we might as well try and take it," he shared.