Charles Barkley Critiques Klay Thompson: 'Old Players Don't Improve'

Barkley discusses Warriors' future and Thompson's role.

by Nouman Rasool
Charles Barkley Critiques Klay Thompson: 'Old Players Don't Improve'
© Megan Briggs/Getty Images

Charles Barkley, known for his sharp wit and candid commentary, didn't hold back in his latest critique of Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson. Barkley, speaking on TNT's "Inside the NBA," reacted to Thompson's challenging performance in what could have been his final game for the Warriors.

In a tough outing where Thompson went 0-of-10 from the field, Barkley seized the moment to express his views on aging players in the NBA. "Klay's not going to get younger," Barkley asserted. "He's not gonna get better. He's gonna make less money but he ain't gonna get no better.

Older people don't get — sports ain't for old people. They're for young people." Despite the blunt assessment, Barkley acknowledged Thompson's remarkable career. "That's no disrespect. Klay is a Hall of Famer," he continued.

"He's lowered his number [in free agency], but that doesn't mean he's gonna play better as he ages. It doesn’t work that way."

Barkley's Warriors Warning

Barkley also speculated on the future composition of the Warriors' roster, suggesting that even if the team were to shift the 34-year-old Thompson to a bench role, he might not exert the same game-changing influence as he did in his prime.

"The Warriors are in trouble," Barkley opined, hinting that the team might have to consider letting Thompson explore free agency. Contrasting with Barkley’s remarks, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr expressed a more optimistic view.

Following the team's play-in loss to Sacramento, Kerr voiced his hope to see Thompson return next season, emphasizing that the seasoned shooter still has significant contributions to make. "Critics shouldn’t be writing him off yet," Kerr stated, showing confidence in Thompson's remaining potential.

Thompson, if indeed departing from the Warriors, would be leaving a significant legacy behind. Over his 13-season tenure with the team, including two redshirt years due to injuries, Thompson has been a pivotal figure. He has participated in 793 regular-season games and 158 playoff games, boasting an average of 19.6 points per game and a notable 41.3 percent accuracy from the three-point line.

As speculation swirls about Thompson’s future with the Warriors, fans and analysts alike await the next chapter for one of the NBA’s most storied shooters, whose career has been as dazzling as it has been impactful.

Charles Barkley Klay Thompson Warriors