As the Golden State Warriors go in search of what would be a record-breaking 73rd win of the regular season, there aren't many people willing to bet against the franchise winning a second straight NBA title.
One man who is going against the grain, however, is NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley. Having already gone on record earlier this season to predict the Dubs wouldn't win the 2016 title, the player-turned-analyst doubled down on his criticism with comments this week.
Speaking ahead of the Warriors' final regular season game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Barkley called into question the team's performances during the 2015 postseason while adding he'd 'get on his knees' if Golden State did win it all this year.
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As relayed by Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group, Barkley said on Tuesday night's Inside the NBA:
“I’m telling you right now, I’m guaranteeing the Warriors will not win the world championship...
“If the Golden State Warriors win a championship, I will get on my knees and congratulate them. Because let me tell you something. Regardless of what y’all say, if you go back and actually look at the playoffs last year, they did not play one team that was healthy in the playoffs.”
Unlike the majority of the NBA world who have been quick to applaud the Warriors' play this season, Barkley has been amongst the Bay Area franchise's most vocal critics.
Back in March, the former Sixers, Suns and Rockets star predicted GSW would fail to retain the title and, despite the team now within one win of surpassing the Chicago Bulls' 72-10 record, he hasn't changed his tune.
As for their 2015 success, Barkley cited LeBron James' fatigue as a reason for their relatively comfortable 4-2 series win in the Finals.
While the Cavaliers were also unable to call upon Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving for the showdown, to suggest the Warriors got lucky last season is a bold claim.
Perhaps the only thing bolder right now is Barkley's suggestion that Steve Kerr's team won't become the first franchise to win back-to-back titles since the Miami Heat in 2013.
The Warriors are on the verge of entering the postseason coming off the most successful regular campaign of all time. All that stands in their way is the Memphis Grizzlies, whom the Dubs defeated 100-99 on Saturday night.
Ironically, the Grizzlies are entering the season finale with an understrength roster of their own after a number of late season injuries. You can be sure Barkley will point that out if, and when, the Warriors make history this evening.