by Alex Poletti
Photo by Kelley L Cox, USA TODAY Sports
After telling Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson that his team’s window to make the playoffs had closed, Hall of Famer-turned-broadcaster Charles Barkley delivered the final blow to the three-time NBA champion, calling him a little fat girl live on the TNT broadcast.
“You’re a little fat girl, you know that?” the former power NBA power forward says. “You have stumpy legs and no boy will ever like you.”
The internet was divided over Barkley’s comments, with some news outlets calling the conversation savage, while others deeming it hurtful and awkward.
“Charles Barkley rips Warriors to Klay Thompson’s pudgy, squirrel-like face,” a TMZ headline reads, “and deservedly calls him little fat girl.”
Barkley’s comments were preceded by the five-time All-Star’s comment that he wouldn’t rush returning from his injury because the Warriors still had five years left to win a championship. Barkley, ever a skeptic of the Golden State dynasty, was quick to retort.
“I’m sorry, your window is closed,” the long-time NBA analyst continues. “And I don’t just mean the Warriors. I mean your personal window. You think Steve Kerr wants to work with someone with nobby cankles like yours? Think again, sweetie. Maybe if we put a cheeseburger at either end of the court, you’ll still be able to run up and down it for 40 minutes.”
Some were quick to Thompson’s defense, calling out Barkley as perpetuating fatphobic culture. Others merely mentioned that Barkley has been a Warriors-hater for years, and hasn’t had success in his past predictions: Barkley previously stated with bravado that the Clippers would make it to the conference finals over the Warriors, and that Golden State couldn’t beat Houston or Portland. To put it mildly, these predictions were incorrect.
“Given how wrong Charles Barkley has been about the Warriors over the past couple years, I wouldn’t be surprised if Klay Thompson is named ‘Fittest Man Alive’ by Men’s Health next year,” one reddit user says.
The general consensus is that Barkley’s comments, fire as they may have been, were uncalled for, given Thompson’s injury status, rendering him unable to back up any claims on the court.
“You can’t kick a man when he’s down like that,” Thompson’s teammate Steph Curry says. “He tore his ACL. He’s in a knee brace. Of course he’s gained a little weight. But you can’t tell him that to his face.”