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Is The NBA As “Watered-Down” As Charles Barkley & Tracy McGrady Say It Is?

Submitted by on May 11, 2016 – 5:33 pmOne Comment
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Steph Curry won the NBA MVP award unanimously yesterday, which is something that obviously should be celebrated. Curry didn’t win the award because of a lack of talent in the NBA. Rather, he won it because he had one of the best regular seasons in NBA history. But that didn’t stop some former NBA players/current NBA analysts from taking shots at Curry’s accomplishment.

Tracy McGrady was the first former player to take aim at Curry. He said he believes Curry’s unanimous NBA MVP win is a sign that the league has become too “watered-down.”

“For him to be that first player to get that unanimously,” he said on ESPN’s The Jump, “I think it tells you how watered-down our league is. Seriously. Because think of when [Michael Jordan] played, Shaq, I mean, those guys really played against top-notch competition, more superstars I think on more teams.”

Charles Barkley agreed with him and said that he thinks the NBA is actually worse than it’s ever been with regards to the level of talent that’s currently in the league.

“The NBA is watered-down,” he said on The Dan Patrick Show. “The NBA is the worst I’ve ever seen it.”

McGrady and Barkley are obviously both entitled to their opinions, and they make their livings off making statements like this now. But are they crazy? While you could argue that the competitive balance in the league isn’t great—the regular season and first half of the NBA Playoffs have been, more or less, a formality due to the dominance of teams like Curry’s Golden State Warriors and LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers—there are just as many stars in the league now as there were a decade or two ago. In fact, you could argue that there are significantly more stars now than ever before.

Has the style of basketball in the NBA changed? Of course. It continues to evolve and it’s always going to be different from one generation to the next. But Barkley and McGrady calling the league “watered-down” is unfair. It’s a slap in the face to fans, players, coaches, and guys like Curry.

Do you think the NBA is as “watered-down” as some former players think it is?

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One Comment »

  • Skoney says:

    Barkley and McGrady are wrong and possibly jealous of attention players get in the NBA. The league was water down when they played. MJ 6 rings, Magic 5 rings. Bird 3 rings, Zeke 2 rings, Dream 2 rings. The same teams won for years, that’s water down. McGrady when pass the first round of the playoffs 1 time as a bench player for SA. Don’t be mad and hate cause you could not help any team win in the playoffs. MJ, Magic, Bird, Zeke owned you and Barkley. You both were on good teams and failed. Quit crying foul.

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