Shaquille O'Neal: Charles Barkley Does NOT Owe Klay Thompson an Apology

Inside The Warriors
Inside The Warriors

Shaq needs to see more from Klay and the Golden State Warriors before it's apology time

During Klay Thompson's early season struggles, TNT analyst and NBA Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley said the Golden State Warriors guard is no longer the player he once was. Upon hearing these comments, Thompson responded honestly, saying they hurt his heart.

"To hear someone say, 'Oh, he's not the same as he was prior to the injuries.' Like, duh," Thompson said. "Who goes through something like that and comes back? Like, I don’t know, it just hurt my heart hearing that. But, you know what? I’m gonna internalize it and it’s gonna be fuel for me to be even better. I’m very proud of what we accomplished last year, and I feel like I was a huge part of it. I’m not gonna let these injuries be a crutch for me. I’m just gonna keep going and I’m gonna have a great year. Bet on that."

Thompson added that he feels he deserves more respect for helping the Warriors win another championship last season despite his injuries the two years prior. Having begun to find his rhythm again, Thompson has started delivering on his promise to be better. While some believe Charles Barkley owes him an apology, Shaquille O'Neal says not quite yet.

When asked on a recent podcast episode if Barkley owes Thompson an apology, Shaq said, "No. Because this is the [20th game]... The problem when you do great things, is everybody wants you to be great. Yes he's getting older, I wouldn't say he's slowing down, but when you have a severe injury - two severe injuries on the same leg, it's gonna take your game away a little bit... [Klay] had a great game last night, last week, but can he do it again?"

Shaq said the Warriors have always been strong because of their consistency, which is why he is not ready to look beyond their early season struggles after a few signs of life. While he does not believe Thompson needs apologies now, he is ready to start calling for them if he keep this up.

"If [Klay] can continue playing like that, then we definitely owe him an apology," Shaq said.

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