Charles Barkley had some pointed comments about Klay Thompson — and the Golden State Warriors as a whole — in the aftermath of their loss to the Phoenix Suns earlier this week. Barkley expressed his belief that, because the Warriors’ core players are getting older, the team’s younger dudes are going to need to step up if they want to have the kind of success that has become commonplace. He brought up Thompson specifically and expressed his belief that “he’s slipping” and that he’s “not the same guy” due to the ACL and achilles injuries that sidelined him for more than two years.
Thompson brought this up on Thursday night after the Warriors beat the Miami Heat, and gave the sort of impassioned answer that has endeared him to basketball fans over the years.
Klay Thompson closed his press conference with an unprompted response to a recent Charles Barkley comment that Klay was “slipping” pic.twitter.com/TUS4AWzTGt
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 28, 2022
“Someone like Charles Barkley, the platform he has, saying you’re not the same player prior to the injuries you had, it’s like, no duh, man,” Thompson said. “Consecutive years, tore my ACL in consecutive years and still helped a team win a championship? I mean, it hurt hearing that, cause it’s like, I put in so much freaking 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.
Thompson then pointed out he played 57 games in three years, then stressed that he needs time to get back to being the player that he was prior to going down.
“Who goes through something like that and comes back…” he said as his voice trailed off. “I don’t know, it just hurt my heart hearing that. But you know what? I’m gonna internalize it and it’s gonna be fuel for me to be even better, and I’m very proud of what we accomplished last year and I feel like I was a huge part of it. So, I’m not gonna let these injuries be a crutch for me. I’m just gonna keep going and I’ma have a great year. Bet on that.”
Thompson then slapped the table and walked away to end his presser.