The Golden State Warriors won the title in the 2021-22 campaign. But it doesn't mean that the team is immune from criticism. For instance, Charles Barkley recently declared that starting shooting guard Klay Thompson is not "the same guy" as before his injuries.
Apparently, the analyst's statement reached the five-time All-Star, who admitted that hurt his feelings.
Using it as fuel
While Thompson said it pained him to hear Barkley's comments, it should be music to fans' ears that he will use those words as fuel. The Warriors will need the sharpshooter in decent form this season if they want to repeat as champions.
Although the roster is almost the same as that of last season when it surprised the league, Golden State likely has a target on its back this time. If Thompson can return to form, the Warriors will be more equipped to match up with the best teams in the Association.
Steph Curry also caught wind of Barkley's assertion and couldn't help but defend his longtime teammate, taking a shot at the retired forward in the process.
The two-time MVP certainly remembers how Barkley's career came to an unfortunate end during the late 1990s. Notably, the Hall of Famer never won a title, although he came close to winning one in the 1992-93 season. In addition, he tried chasing a ring in the latter part of his career but was hampered by various injuries.
It will be interesting to see if Barkley will clap back on the Splash Brothers in the coming days.