Draymond Green said in March that Charles Barkley “can’t sit at [his] table” because the Warriors star has three NBA championships to Barkley’s zero.
The Ringer’s Ryen Russillo thinks Barkley very much can.
“[The] idea anybody would hit ‘send’ on a pro-Draymond Green-Barkley debate tweet is lunacy,” Russillo said on “The Ryen Russillo Podcast” on Tuesday. “Lunacy. I love Draymond Green. I don’t think there’s anyone that would think that I’ve ever been anti-Draymond Green.
"But because I’m pro-Draymond Green, I don’t have to also be pro-the worst argument possible.”
Russillo said he had seen some “blue checks” and “basketball people” argue in Green’s favor after Barkley’s 1993 NBA Finals performance was prominently featured on Episode 6 of ESPN’s “The Last Dance” on Sunday. Barkley was the league’s MVP that season, averaging 25.6 points, 12.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game with the Phoenix Suns.
Green’s career-best marks (14.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game), by contrast, came in the 2015-16 season when the Warriors went 73-9. Few would argue Green is a better offensive player than Barkley, but the 30-year-old was the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2017 and has appeared on more NBA All-Defensive teams (five) than Barkley did in his whole career (zero).
Barkley, of course, also is a Basketball Hall of Famer with 11 All-Star appearances under his belt compared to Green's three.
“Draymond is a really nice player,” Russillo argued. “Exceptional, multifaceted, does all these amazing things, very important for a winning team. In no world would be a No. 1 option for a franchise the way Chuck was for a decade strong. … It’s not debatable, so stop debating it.”
Green has never really argued he’s better than Barkley, even as accounts on Russillo’s Twitter timeline have. The Warriors forward’s beef with Barkley largely stems from the Turner Sports analyst’s consistent criticism, and Green believes Barkley is jealous of his championship rings.
Russillo might feel he put the apparent Green-Barkley debate to bed, but it will take a lot more than just him to stop two of the NBA’s best trash-talkers from trading barbs with one another.