Charles Barkley triples down on Klay Thompson career decline comments

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Barkley triples down on comments about Klay's declining career originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Charles Barkley is tripling down on his comments regarding Klay Thompson's decline this season.

In an exclusive interview with Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks, Barkley reiterated that he was "disappointed" by how Thompson took the NBA legends' comments.

"I went back and looked at what I said," Barkley told Rooks. "Klay was the best two-way player in basketball for a long time and what I said was, 'He's still a good player, he's never going to be that guy again' for three reasons: age, Achilles, and ACL."

Barkley adds that no athlete gets better as they age and noted that every player declines at some point in their career. But Thompson's situation is unique because he's had two devastating lower leg injuries back to back.

"I was caught off guard because I went back and looked and I said, 'Klay is still a heck of a player, but he's never going to be the best two-guard in the NBA that he was for a long time because of age, Achilles and ACL,' " Barkley continued.

The "Inside the NBA" analyst said that the Warriors star "100 percent" overreacted to his initial comments.

Barkley said he made those comments after seeing Thompson get ejected for jawing with Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns as the Warriors were getting blown out on Oct. 25.

"And I saw the frustration and that's why I came out and I said, 'Klay's going to have to understand he's got four championships, he's a great, great player,' " Barkley said. "But because of age, Achilles, ACL, there's nothing he can do about Devin Booker at this stage in his career."

Before his first career ejection, Thompson had two points on 1-of-8 shooting while Booker scored 34 points on 10-of-19 shooting in the Suns' 29-point win.

Nevertheless, Barkley reaffirmed his stance that the 32-year-old Thompson will not be the same player he was before due to the aforementioned injuries and his age.

"I didn't call him a bum, I said he's still a heck of a player," Barkley said to Rooks. "But that one night, I saw myself a little bit like man, getting older is no joke.

"See that's the one thing that sucks about sports ... Father Time is undefeated -- it's going to get everybody."

While there were concerns that Father Time and injuries might have taken their toll on Thompson to start the 2022-23 NBA season, it appears that the Warriors star is rounding into form.

In his last five games, Thompson is averaging 24.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals in 31.8 minutes per game. More impressively, Thompson has hit 53.8 percent of his shots from the field and 56 percent from 3-point range, a marked improvement.

RELATED: Watch Kerr's classic reaction to Klay's daring dagger trey

After Barkley's initial comments went viral, many came to Thompson's defense, including Steph Curry, his mother Sonya Curry, and NBA pundits like ESPN's Zach Lowe.

Despite Thompson recent resurgence, it appears as if Barkley has no intention of backing down.

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