James Harden

Warriors' Bob Fitzgerald says Steph Curry doesn't get star treatment

Warriors' Bob Fitzgerald says Steph Curry doesn't get star treatment

When Warriors play-by-play broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald joined this week's episode of the "Runnin' Plays" podcast, Kerith Burke asked him the question that has troubled Warriors fans for years.

"Do you feel like Steph Curry gets enough calls?"

Fitzgerald made it very clear where he stood on the matter.

"If Steph Curry got James Harden's whistles, Steph would shoot 15 free throws a night," he said.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Curry averages 4.0 free-throw attempts per game in his career, and he has only ever averaged as much as 5.9 attempts a night in a single season (2017-18).

Harden, on the other hand, has averaged at least 10 free throws per game in each of the last six seasons. He's averaging a career-high 11.6 attempts this season.

"They are not playing basketball anymore, they are playing the free-throw game," Fitzgerald said of Harden and other players he believes are gaming the system. "That's not great to watch and that's not really great basketball."

Of course, there are plenty of other explanations for why Harden receives more foul calls than Curry. The ball's in Harden's hands much more often, and he has a much higher usage rate (35 percent) than Curry (30.6 percent) since the Warriors hired Steve Kerr.

"I think where Steph is mis-officiated is off the ball," Fitzgerald explained. "Guys grab, clutch, bounce and hit him all the time off the ball because that's really the only way you can guard him. The other thing too is that the officials focus primarily on the ball, so they're not watching off the ball as much as you can get away with a lot more.

"This freedom of movement thing ... Steph and Klay (Thompson) try to move freely a lot and are prohibited from doing that, and that's really the game plan to slow down the Warriors."

[RELATED: Warriors announcer Fitzgerald honored to call playoff games]

Fitzgerald has been the Warriors' TV voice for nearly a quarter of a century, including all of Curry's professional career. He doesn't think Curry receives the same treatment as some of his superstar peers, and Fitzgerald takes that personally.

"When I see Steph, who I would consider a friend and someone I care about, kind of getting manhandled a lot, that bothers me," Fitzgerald said. "So do I get frustrated with that once in a while? Yes, I do."

Warriors' Draymond Green believes Kevin Durant NBA's best scorer ever

Warriors' Draymond Green believes Kevin Durant NBA's best scorer ever

Stop the presses. Draymond Green and Charles Barkley disagree on something.

Green appeared on TNT's pregame show Saturday, and after they revealed the 2019-20 MVP finalists, Barkley made the case that Houston Rockets guard James Harden is the best scorer in NBA history.

"Y'all laughed at me. Everybody laughed at me a couple years ago," Barkley said. "I said [Harden] is the best offensive player. He's not as great of a player as Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, but this guy here, might be the greatest offensive player we've ever had because, as great as Michael and Kobe were, they weren't 3-point shooters. This guy is a better 3-point shooter ... "

Co-host Kenny Smith interjected and referenced Bryant's 81-point game.

"I think James Harden could get 80 in a game," Barkley said. "If he went out and just 'I'm going to get 80.' "

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

That's when Green jumped into the conversation.

"But does James score like that back then when y'all were playing and fouls weren't called the same way they're called today?" Green asked.

"I did use that caveat: In today's game, he's the greatest scorer I've ever seen," Barkley responded. "It's a different game, but he's the best we got offensively today."

Barkley, Smith and host Ernie Johnson tried to steer the conversation back to the MVP debate, but Green reverted back to the "best scorer ever" chat.

"Kevin Durant's the best scorer, by the way," Green said. "The best scorer ever. Not even close. No disrespect to James, but Kevin Durant is the best scorer ever."

"That's fair," Barkley said. "I don't agree with you."

That's some high praise from Green for his former teammate. Green played a big part in convincing Durant to sign with the Warriors in 2016, but their relationship soured after an on-court argument in Los Angeles during the 2018-19 season.

Regardless of the relationship between Green and Durant, the current Warriors forward has a point. Yes, Jordan, Bryant and Harden have put together some of the best single-season scoring numbers, but Durant is so unique in the ways he can score. We've never seen anything quite like the four-time NBA scoring champ.

Durant is lethal from the 3-point line, he can post up and score at will on the block and he can get to the rim whenever he wants.

[RELATED: Barkley says Warriors have advantage in 2020-21]

Green never played against Jordan, but he grew up watching Bryant and faced him his final few seasons in the league, he's gone up against Harden in the NBA playoffs several times over the last few years, and he's played with and against Durant.

As one of the premier defenders in the NBA, Green would know better than anyone who the best scorers in the league are. If he says Durant is the best, a lot of weight should be put into those words.

Steph Curry, Giannis, LeBron James: Warriors Twitter debates NBA's best

Steph Curry, Giannis, LeBron James: Warriors Twitter debates NBA's best

Some of the best, and -- let's be honest -- worst conversations regarding the Warriors reside on social media. Strong voices and opinions of Dub Nation defend or criticize their squad, not afraid to share their thoughts with absolute authority. Many of these personalities live on Twitter, where everyone can be a general manager, coach, critic, troll and hot take artist. Or all at once.

[RELATED: What Kerr learned about Wiggins from Thibodeau]

In the second installment of our Warriors Twitter Roundtable, we look at another major conversation floating around the Warriors Twitter world. Answering the question will be a panel of some of the more prominent and revered voices within the community.

If Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Steph Curry, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid, Damian Lillard and Luka Doncic are completely healthy next season and playing at the top of their current abilities, who would be your top five players in the NBA?

@poormanscommish: I generally don’t like to throw any guys under the bus by leaving them out of rankings, or doing comparisons and whatnot, but okay: Steph, Giannis, LeBron, KD, and Kawhi. Hopefully, Dame never reads this!

@samesfandiari: Oh! This is tough. The hedge answer is "They are all great" but with that said, my list would be (In no order): Steph, KD, LBJ, Giannis, Kawhi. Steph, LBJ and Giannis are 3 best players to build a system around. Kawhi and KD are best all-around players, best 1 v 1, etc. They are all great but until I see one of these five drops off, they are my list.

@Jannelle12: Completely healthy and playing at the top of their abilities, I have in no particular order: Steph, Kawhi, KD, Giannis, LeBron

@AndyKHLiu: Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, LeBron, Kawhi and Giannis. You could put those in any order but that would be one through five for me. At their current abilities and what they've shown not only throughout a regular season but postseason, these would be the five I trust in a must-win game and series. Anthony Davis and James Harden both have cases above Giannis, one could argue, but their resumes are simply as strong as the upcoming 2-time MVP.

My take (@grantliffmann): Rarely do you see a uniform consensus, but here we are. In no particular order, I'd go Curry, Durant, Leonard, Antetokounmpo and James are viewed by the panel as the top five players in the NBA right now if fully healthy. Four of the five are proven NBA champions, and the fifth is most likely a back-to-back MVP. In my eyes, Harden and Davis just miss the cut as the next best in the league. Yet, when fully healthy and playing at the top of his game, Embiid is a player that has the size and talent to make the leap into the top five. Perhaps he will need a change of scenery or new circumstances in Philadelphia, but his abilities on both ends of the floor are what intrigue me the most.

RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]