‘Hell, no’: Steph Curry not bullish on this Charles Barkley golf bet

Charles Barkley at Stone Canyon Golf Club

Charles Barkley is teeing it up in Lake Tahoe this week.

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On the course, as on the court, Steph Curry has a killer instinct. Turns out he’s an assassin in press conferences, too.

A reminder came on Thursday, at Edgewood golf course, in Lake Tahoe, when Curry took the podium in advance of the 2022 American Century Championship.

Amid a volley of questions, Curry was asked about the state of his game (understandably rusty) and his state of mind (still celebratory) three weeks after claiming his fourth NBA title.

The topics were wide ranging, and, because this is Nevada, they included betting — specifically, a bet involving Charles Barkley.

Unlike Curry, Barkley is a distant longshot in this week’s celebrity-stacked event; his odds to win are 7,500 to 1, and even at those numbers, it seems like a bad wager.

A more intriguing option is a line that has Barkley at 5 to 1 to finish in the top 70 in a field of 87 players.

Last year, when a similar line appeared at the local casinos, Barkley claimed to have made a $100,000 wager on himself.

Now, the proposition is available again.

So, what did Curry think? Could Sir Charles do it? All he’d have to do is beat 17 guys.

“No,” Curry said, grinning. “Hell, no.”

There was more.

But before we get to the rest of his remarks, it’s worth putting Curry’s comments into context. There’s some history to them, dating back to early 2015, before the Warriors began their dynastic run. In those days, the Curry-led Dubs were transforming the game with a bedazzling style of play, fueled by long-range pyrotechnics.

From top right, clockwise: Steve Young, Paige Spiranac, Larry Fitzgerald and Rob Riggle.
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Impressive stuff, but Barkley wasn’t buying it.

“No way,” he said in the run-up to the playoffs, “that a jump-shooting team could win the championship.”

He added, for good measure, that the Warriors played “little girly basketball.”

In 2017, after Curry’s Warriors had proven him wrong twice, Barkley offered this cheeky mea culpa. Addressing Dub Nation, he said: “I told you a jump-shooting team would never with the championship. I was right. Congratulations. Now you’ve won two.”

Barkley is Barkley, a middling golfer but a master of good-natured smack talk. Curry isn’t lacking in that department, either.

As the room at Edgewood broke out in laughter, Curry elaborated on his hell-no take.

“Clip that, send it to him, let him play it on every tee box. There’s no way he’s doing it,” Curry said. “As much faith as Chuck has had in the Warriors and jump-shooting teams winning championships, that’s the amount of faith I have in him hitting the top 70.”

Like Curry, though, Barkley doesn’t put much stock in doubters. Just a few weeks back, he said he planned to make the same bet on himself again this year.


Josh Sens

Golf.com Editor

A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Magazine contributor since 2004 and now contributes across all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.