Charles Barkley's claims about the Warriors' 'girlie' style continue to make no sense
Why, Chuck? Why must you make this difficult?
Hey, what's that buzzer?
Oh, that's right. It's our timer for "Two days without Charles Barkley saying something that completely falls apart if you give it even the slightest bit of examination." Hang on, let me get out my well-used drilling equipment.
So on TNT Thursday, Barkley was talking about the Warriors, and elected to describe them as "girlie basketball."
Charles Barkley explains why he doesn't like the way the Golden State Warriors play basketball pic.twitter.com/DaTud8Lwje— LeRob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) December 2, 2016
"Maybe I'm old school, but I'm never gonna like that little girlie basketball where you have to outscore people. I'm biased against girl basketball."
Barkley then said that he loves Geno Auriemma and "women's basketball" but he doesn't want to see it in the NBA.
OK, let's break it down.
1. There is nothing feminine about the Warriors' play style. It holds no qualities of biological or classic femininity based on any cultural or societal archetypes. There's no such construct. The idea of "girlie" basketball is only accurate when used to describe basketball played by young women under a certain age of which we can debate another time. This description, on top of reeking of sexism, is just nonsensical and doesn't actually mean anything. It's like saying "giraffe-y basketball."
2. The Warriors have had a top-five defense the past three years and it was central to their title in 2015 when they ranked first in that category. It's true that they've slipped since then, but not by much, and certainly not enough to describe them as a team that is purely offense. Defense remains central to their success and furthermore, they know that. To describe them otherwise is, again, nonsensical.
3. But to that point, Barkley's criticism is that the Warriors "have to outscore people." Not to get too literal, but Barkley is aware that the entire point of a basketball game is to outscore the opponent, right? You don't get points for a defensive stop. To say that he doesn't like basketball where you have to outscore the opponent assumes that he likes basketball where they don't outscore the opponent. Which makes sense, since he was drafted by and played for the Sixers.
4. As Dane Carbaugh at NBC Sports points out, Barkley's teams were never anywhere nearly as good as these Warriors teams. Barkley himself was a great rebounder but never a top-flight defender. It's true that Barkley had playoff success and knew what it took to win, but it's a little weird for him to be taking that angle given his history.
5. It's personal preference, so in reality, it's OK. If he had just said, "I don't like the Warriors' playing style," then that's fine. Ascribing a feminine descriptive to it and acting like it's not a consistent formula for success when they've gone 156-26 since the start of the 2014-15 season, that's where the conversation goes off the rails, as usual, with Barkley.
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