Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley Clash Over Klay Thompson’s New Role at Warriors: “Let Me Finish, I Didn’t Interrupt You”

Published 01/15/2022, 11:30 AM EST
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV – JULY 02: Shaquille O’Neal (L) and Charles Barkley attend The Greenbrier for the gala opening of the Casino Club on July 2, 2010 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage for The Greenbrier)


When the news of Klay Thompson returning for the Warriors broke out, there were immediate shock waves in the NBA world. After all, Stephen Curry and co. were already in rampant touch. With Klay’s inclusion, their attack would only get stronger, which in turn would enhance their bench. However, his first couple of games haven’t been as explosive as we expected from one-half of the ‘Splash brothers’. This has made Shaquille O’Neal and many others evaluate his current role. Can he make a strong return?

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Jan 9, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) celebrates his 1800th career three-point basket during the third quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

So far, the Golden State Warriors have imposed themselves on the Western Conference. Over the past couple of years, injuries cost the franchise in brutal fashion. With all their mainstays, including Curry, Klay, and Draymond suffering from injuries from time to time, they failed to make the playoffs on both occasions.

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This season, however, is a totally different story. With their veterans fitter than ever and a bunch of hungry reinforcements, Steve Kerr’s men are well and truly title contenders. However, NBA analysts Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley are divided on where Klay Thompson fits into this picture.

Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley get into heated argument over Klay Thompson

With great power, comes great responsibility. Who doesn’t remember the golden days for Golden State, when Steph and Klay effortlessly destroyed the opposition in tandem. In retrospect, it will take some time for the whole setup to regroup, with the addition of the 31-year-old. After returning from his leg injury, he will have to be eased into the starting lineup. Naturally, it takes time to adjust.

After the Warriors’ blowout loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Chuck and Shaq addressed the challenges ahead for the Dubs. When the 49-year-old Lakers legend was interrupted by his fellow analyst, things got heated.

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“When you’re a role player you just have to adjust,” said Shaq. “When Klay wasn’t there, those guys got more freedom. Now that he’s back, you gotta readjust.” Chuck had none of it, interrupting him by saying, “It’s not that simple Shaq.” And the 15-time All-star hit back, claiming, “It’s very simple. I played, let me finish, I didn’t interrupt you.”

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Will Klay Thompson’s return elevate Golden State’s title hopes? Or will it all come crashing down? Regardless, they will have to regroup quickly, as the NBA schedule doesn’t get any easier from here on.

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

557 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is an NBA and Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, soccer and table tennis. Sankalp idolises Roger Federer and Stephen Curry, and has an inherent love for statistics.

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