Through ESPN, the ever opinionated Charles Barkley provided some fodder for NBA fans this week when he chimed in on the debate involving the the red hot Golden State Warriors and the Chicago Bulls team that was led by Michael Jordan and won 72 games in a season.
Charles Barkley stated that Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors have no chance at beating that legendary Chicago Bulls team because Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman would dominate the NBA if they played with the current rules that are advantageous towards offensive players.
In analyzing both teams, the Chicago Bulls do have an advantage over the Golden State Warriors.
Stephen Curry is playing phenomenally, regardless of what era it is, or what rules are in place. His dominance is a thing of beauty, and the second generation guard would do pretty well in the 1980s and 1990s.
Very few NBA players have been as dominant defensively as Scottie Pippen was. His versatility was rare. At six-foot, seven-inches, 220-pounds, the former Central Arkansas Bears star was able to defend point guards, shooting guards, small forwards, and power forwards at a high level.
If the Chicago Bulls and Golden State Warriors were to play one another, Scottie Pippen would take on the task of guarding Stephen Curry. Pippen routinely took on the best NBA scorers regardless of what position they played. That enabled the Chicago Bulls to take advantage of opponents on any given night.
With his height, athleticism, and desire to shut down opponents, Scottie Pippen would be one of the toughest defenders that Stephen Curry has ever faced in the NBA. It would be like facing a slightly better version of San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, who is arguably the best wing defender today.
Klay Thompson is one of the best offensive threats in the NBA. He’s shown an ability to score more points in a quarter that most players have in an entire game.
Ron Harper reinvented himself late in his career. He went from being an offensive force with the Cleveland Cavaliers to being a defensive stopper with the Chicago Bulls. Harper would be tasked with shutting down Thompson, which would be a great battle.
Draymond Green is one of the most dynamic players in the NBA. He earned himself a huge contract by being able to shoot from the outside and driving through the lanes. Despite being just six-foot, seven-inches, he can capably battle centers in the low post.
Dennis Rodman would be tasked with defending Draymond Green, and that battle would be extremely fun to watch. Rodman was also an undersized player that could defend bigger opponents. At just six-foot, eight-inches, Rodman was able to get the better of a six-foot, nine-inch, 260-pound Karl Malone, a Hall of Fame player, during the NBA Finals.
Michael Jordan was one of the best defenders that the NBA has ever seen. He took a lot of pride in shutting people down. Against the Golden State Warriors, he would be tasked with defending Harrison Barnes or Andre Iguodala, two guys that don’t dominate on offense, so that he can save his energy for offense.
With the amount of talent that the Golden State Warriors have, it is unlikely that the Chicago Bulls would sweep them in an NBA Playoffs. However, the trio of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman would be too much for Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.
Of course, we will never be able to know for sure because the legendary Chicago Bulls team will never be able to play the current Golden State Warriors squad, but that won’t stop people from speculating and debating.
[Featured Photo by Getty Images Entertainment]