Charles Barkley is widely considered as one of the greatest power forwards in NBA history. Thanks to his aggressive style of play, inside scoring, and ruthless rebounding despite being undersized; Charles is one of the game’s old school legends that is loved and respected by his peers.
Yet, the arrival of Draymond Green and the Golden State Warriors has seemed to rub people the wrong way including Charles Barkley. The Warriors Dynasty had Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green at its core; even before Kevin Durant joined. Nobody thought we would ever see the 72-10 record of the Chicago Bulls ever get broken, but the Warriors managed to do it and go 73-9.
Since then, Green and Barkley have seemed to have taken shots at each other. Barkley doesn’t seem to respect Green’s game for a player who shared the same position, while Green simply feels he has eclipsed Barkley in NBA lore because of his three championship rings.
While Green can legitimately say he is an NBA champion, could he possibly be as effective as Barkley was in his career? Let’s find out.
Inside Scoring – Charles Barkley
Even though Green is very underrated at absorbing contact and finishing at the rim, Barkley takes this one. Barkley was only 6’6”, but weighed around 250 lbs. He was one of the best ever at using his body to push around defenders in the paint, and have enough finesse to score around the basket.
While Green could take the outside shot, Barkley was simply a better scorer. Green’s career average of 9.0 PPG at 44% compared to Barkley’s 22.1 PPG at 54% shooting tells pretty much the whole story. Green is normally a third or fourth option for his team, while Barkley could make a case as the number one option and the bulk of his scoring came in the paint.
Outside Scoring – Draymond Green
While Barkley dominated the paint, Green usurps him here thanks to the latter’s ability to hit the three-point shot.
While Green is no Stephen Curry, he can get hot from three and has shown that he can at least be a threat if given enough space. His career 3 point FG % stands at .319 percent when compared to Barkley’s .266 percent. Charles did the bulk of his scoring down low, while Green has thrived as a spot-up shooter in the Warriors system at times. Green takes this one.
Playmaking – Draymond Green
Green may not be a fantastic scorer but is a great contributor on the floor. In fact, passing might be Green’s strongest asset.
Draymond averages 5.0 assists per game for his career, and this is often an underlooked aspect of his game due to his intense defensive mindset. But Green is one of the best passing forwards in the game and could play point-forward on most occasions.
Green is particularly strong in the fast break and is often the one leading the charge. Barkley only averaged 3.9 APG and was mainly asked to score. Green takes this one too.
Athleticism – Charles Barkley
Barkley is a very underrated athlete, despite his chubby frame. He had incredible strength at only 6’6″, and was a monster in the paint even when surrounded by taller players. His toughness helped a lot, but Barkley has enough mass to bang down low and finish at the rim.
Green is not a particularly gifted athlete, but he is athletic enough to run the floor and make plays for his team. While both players aren’t incredible athletes by any means, Barkley edges out Green because of his stronger body that helped him impact the game more.
Defense – Draymond Green
Barkley was never regarded as a defensive stopper, and Green is a better defender. He was just much more focused on the defensive end, and also more versatile as he could guard all five positions on the floor when required to do so. Barkley was limited in his defensive capabilities and could handle players in the paint much more often than in the perimeter.
Stats also show in Green’s favor, who averages 1.4 SPG and 1.1 BPG for his career. Barkley averaged 1.5 SPG and 0.8 BPG for his career. Many claim Green was the heart and soul for the Warriors Dynasty, and his defensive prowess was the main reason why.
Another one for Green.
Rim Protection – Draymond Green
Both players could offer rim protection, but Draymond Green is more of a feisty defender around the basket. Green’s ability to bother anyone who comes close to the rim is one of his strongest assets, and he is also long enough to contest shots by taller players.
Standing at 6’6″ as well, Green has the tremendous wingspan and has the foot speed to get himself in position to draw charges or contest shots. Barkley could be exposed when drawn out to the perimeter and therefore has to find his way to remain in the paint often. Sue to Green’s defensive specialty, he takes this one too.
Rebounds – Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley was a beast on the boards as an undersized power forward, averaging 11.7 rebounds a game for his career. He also almost averaged a whopping 14.6 rebounds a game during the 86-87 season.
Green is also a strong rebounder, who averages 6.9 RPG for his career, but is simply outmatched by one of the best offensive rebounders of all time.
Barkley takes this one.
Clutch – Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley was a great scorer and was more clutch than Draymond Green. This mainly comes down to Barkley’s scoring ability, and also free throw shooting ability. Green has been known to miss free throws at times, and at only 71% for his career, this happens more often than he would like.
Barkley is slightly more efficient at the line, averaging 74% from the line, and has shown that he can be the man on a team. Barkley’s scoring prowess and offensive dominance make him a better clutch player.
Leadership – Charles Barkley
Draymond Green was both the vocal force and team leader of the Warriors Dynasty. Whatever he lacked in pure talent, he made up with his force by holding players accountable and being a defensive leader. But when left alone on a team without superstars, Green’s leadership ability remains to be seen.
Barkley could have been dropped on any team and he could immediately become their best player, most vocal leader, and most impactful performer. Barkley played with such a force, that even his peers today respect him. As a result, Barkley takes this one simply because he has shown he could be the man on his teams.
Basketball I.Q. – Draymond Green
While Barkley was a fantastic scorer and rebounder, Green takes the edge slightly thanks to his exceptional playmaking skills. His stats, 5.0 APG over Barkley’s 3.9 APG provide evidence, but it was Green’s impact on the floor with his passing that made him valuable.
Green could play point-forward in an uptempo system and find guys for open shots all game long on the fast break. Barkley was more of a post-up player and felt like he could score every time down low. While Barkley clearly has a high basketball I.Q., Green edges him thanks to his passing ability.
Scoring – Charles Barkley
As discussed earlier, Barkley is simply a better scorer. His 22.1 PPG average more than doubles Green’s 9.0 PPG average, and Charles even managed to average 28.3 PPG in the 97-98 season.
Green’s highest average for a season came in 2015-2016 season where he averaged 14.0 PPG. This one is not even close.
Impact – Charles Barkley
Green’s impact is undeniable when he has strong offensive scorers around him. His ability to vocally hold people responsible and also provide exceptional defense is the main reason why he is a three-time champion. Green could defend multiple positions at any time and be the key cog in the small-ball lineups that Golden State featured at times in the NBA Playoffs. But Barkley is simply a better scorer, rebounder, and more impactful player.
His career averages below Green’s out of the water, and there hasn’t been a player to dominate the paint at his size since Charles Barkley. Barkley had all the tools of a superstar player and was the man on every team he went to. Barkley is a more impactful player than Green.
1 on 1 Game – Charles Barkley
Draymond Green and Charles Barkley are both great at what they do and had specialist skillsets. But if we were to witness a one-on-one game between these two, Barkley’s strength as a scorer will come into play. As a matter of fact, I don’t think Green will have much of a chance.
Draymond is limited offensively, and can only manage to hit the occasional jump shot. In the paint, he is not adept at post-ups and doesn’t have the finesse that Barkley had down low. Barkley is a better scorer, rebounder, and a more versatile performer in a one on one situation. Green’s won’t be able to hit enough jumpers to win this matchup, and Barkley would trump him with scoring.
Charles Barkley vs. Draymond Green 8-5