Fuming Over Charles Barkley’s Shocking Disrespect Toward 4x Champ, American Media Personality Shreds 76ers Legend Apart

Published 09/01/2023, 1:19 PM EDT

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The NBA community loves to draw comparisons between the current league and the NBA of the 1980s. Many All-Stars believe and have been vocal about their opinion that players of this league would not be able to survive back then as the game was extremely ‘physical’. However, one American media person is of a different opinion as he rips NBA Hall of Famer Barkley apart.

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In a recent interview, Charles Barkley makes wild assumptions about one of the best in the NBA league today.

Charles Barkley on 4x NBA champ playing in the ’80s

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In a recent interview with Bill Simmons, Charles Barkley compares today’s NBA to the NBA in the 1980s. He says, “Can you imagine if the bad boys (Detroit Pistons) would beat the hell out of him? As much as I love Steph Curry, if you think that he could take the blows that John Sally, Dennis Rodman, Bill Laimbeer… those body checks they were putting on Scottie (Pippen), Michael (Jordan), myself and guys like that… do you really think Stephen Curry won’t break?”

USA Today via Reuters

 

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Nick Wright immediately responds, “No. I don’t think he would break. I think he would be fine.” He explains, “You know how I know? Because in the 1980s, the four best players of the decade were (in no particular order) Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas… who isn’t Steph Curry.”

Wright further adds that Isiah Thomas was an inch shorter and fifteen pounds lighter than Stephen Curry. He concludes, Were ‘Bad Boy’ Pistons the only physical team back then? No. Was it a more physical game? Of course. But do these retired players that insist on just saying how much worse the game is now and how much worse the players are now, how today’s greats couldn’t survive in that era. It would be like saying Larry Bird would not be able to the pace and space in today’s NBA.” [sic]

 

Nick Wright further breaks down Charles Barkley’s opinion as he talks about the habit of former NBA players glorifying the ’80s and the ’90s.

“So much myth-making”: Nick Wright on Charles Barkley’s opinion

Nick Wright says, “Great players of any era… drop them in to any other era, they adjust, and they are awesome. But there is so much myth-making about this specific timeframe in basketball and it is all belied by videos and record books.”

He further comments on allegations of no real rivalries in today’s NBA, “Isiah and Magic kissed each other before tip-off!” The American TV host continues to rip the NBA Hall of Famer as he explains that the phenomenon of super teams existed back in the 1980s too.

He then addresses another myth that people talk about, “‘LeBron would struggle. He wouldn’t be the same guy in the ‘physical’ era of the ’80s and the ’90s.'” Nick clarifies, “Wait, what now? You’re saying that one of the greatest natural athletes to ever live… a guy whose biggest strength is his size, strength and velocity. That guy would be hampered?”

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USA Today via Reuters

The NBA community stands divided on this topic. Considering the injuries that players could sustain in the 1980s, many may be correct to believe that the longevity of a player may drastically reduce if he played in the physical era of 1980s and 1990s.

Maybe, maybe not – but one thing which Nick Wright earlier mentioned which is absolutely true is that great players of any era will be awesome if they played in any era. Period.

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What are your thoughts on Stephen Curry playing in the 1980s and 1990s? Let us know in the comments below!

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Written by:

Akhil Chakravarthy

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One take at a time

Akhil is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the NBA for more than a decade and represented his state at the National level. To hone his understanding of the inner workings of the game, he closely follows the analysis of popular NBA insiders and reporters like Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania.
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Edited by:

Aayush Kapoor

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