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#pounditSaturday, July 20, 2024

Charles Barkley calls out Michael Malone for 1 motivational tactic

Charles Barkley holds a microphone

November 23, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Turner Sports sportscaster Charles Barkley before The Match: Tiger vs Phil golf match at Shadow Creek Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Charles Barkley is not a fan of one motivational tactic Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone used on his team during the Western Conference semifinals.

Malone admitted to the media on Saturday that he had a two-minute edit made of various big-name NBA analysts saying the Nuggets were finished after going down 2-0 to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Malone admitted that, at that point, their takes were not necessarily wrong, and the edit was not personal, but he felt it would “strike a chord” with his players and help inspire them to turn the series around.

Barkley was likely one of those analysts featured in that edit. After Game 2, he predicted the Nuggets would be swept, and said that Minnesota was simply the better team. TNT replayed those comments Monday after the Nuggets won two straight in Minnesota to even the series, prompting Barkley to issue a rather strong response.

“We get paid to give an opinion. If you watched those first two games, you didn’t think Denver was going to win. They act like we just pulled it out of our a– or someone just made it up,” Barkley said. “You watch those first two games, you’re like, ‘Man, the Minnesota Wolves look better than the Denver Nuggets.’ Now Denver’s playing great, and he wants to act like he played a tape. Man, I don’t care.

“I’ve always liked Mike Malone. But he annoys me because he thinks, hey, he won a championship. He ain’t the greatest thing since sliced bread. We only can go by what we saw, and if you watched those first two games, you said, ‘Damn.’ … Give the Denver Nuggets credit, but don’t act like that tape spurred the Nuggets.”

Malone’s point did not seem to be that his intervention turned the series around. It was simply an insight into how he motivated his team. He even admitted that Barkley and others who wrote off the Nuggets after two games were not necessarily wrong in thinking that way. The coach himself never seemed to doubt his team, but he would be doing himself and his franchise a disservice if he passed on a chance to fire them up.

Malone will not be bothered that he rubbed Barkley the wrong way. After all, he has done it with much more prominent targets before.

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