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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Charles Barkley

Shaq backs Daryl Morey over China situation, cites ‘free speech’

Shaq TNT

Retired NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal backed Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey on Tuesday night amid an ongoing feud between China, the NBA and many American critics, such as Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.

Morey drew heat from James and a handful of other NBA players after expressing support for Hong Kong citizens, who are fighting the Chinese government over various human rights injustices.

But Shaq wasn’t having it.

“And, one of our best values here in America is free speech. We’re allowed to say what we want to say and we are allowed to speak out on injustices and that’s just how it goes,” O’Neal told the pre-game TNT panel. “If people don’t understand that, that’s something they have to deal with.

“I just thought it was unfortunate for both parties, and then you have people speaking when they don’t know what they’re talking about. But Daryl Morey was right. Whenever you see something wrong going on anywhere in the world, you should have the right to say ‘that’s not right,’ and that’s what he did.”

After suggesting they wouldn’t just “shut up and dribble” when it related to perceived American injustices, James & Co. were quick to button their lips and just dribble when their Chinese money was at stake.

That stance drew wide bi-partisan criticism, and Shaq wasn’t ready to sweep it all under the rug just yet.

Charles Barkley, on the other hand, was quick to push back against Shaq.

“We all have a responsibility to our employer,” Barkley said. “I can’t come on TV and say anything I want to politically. I can’t do that. His allegiance is to the Houston Rockets and the NBA, and he can quit if he’s not happy with it.”

Barkley may not get it, James certainly doesn’t get it, but Shaq seems to. The rights to life and freedom far outweigh any employment allegiances or income.

As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “he who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

Do you support Free Speech? Do you stand with Daryl Morey? Get the shirt that says so below!

Charles Barkley has some harsh words for Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley began his Hall of Fame career with the Philadelphia 76ers, and he has never been afraid to criticize his former team just as much as — if not more than – any other team he provides analysis on. That goes for superstars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, too.

Barkley said during an appearance on ESPN’s “Get Up” Tuesday morning that he believes the Sixers can win the Eastern Conference next season, but he cautioned that Embiid has to “get his fat butt in shape” and Simmons has to work on his jump shot for that to happen.

Barkley said the most valuable advice he ever received in his career came from Moses Malone, who told him he was “fat and lazy.” Barkley says that inspired him to lose 50 pounds when he first got to Philadelphia. He believes someone with the 76ers needs to step up and send a similar message to Embiid.

It will probably be more difficult for Simmons to improve his shooting than it is for Embiid to work on his conditioning, but Barkley has a point with both. Staying in shape is critical for Embiid if he wants to remain healthy, though he has not been that receptive to Barkley’s advice in the past. Simmons could be an MVP candidate if he learned how to shoot, but that is a tough thing to do at this stage in a player’s career.

Charles Barkley was embarrassingly wrong with Warriors prediction

Charles Barkley

The best part about a bold prediction is getting the credit for making a daring call when you’re right. The worst part is having it recorded on video and the internet playing it over and over and over again to mock you when you’re wrong. Charles Barkley could tell you about both experiences.

Barkley could not have been more wrong with his Golden State Warriors prediction this postseason.

After Kevin Durant suffered his calf injury in Game 5 of the Warriors’ Western Conference semifinals series against Houston, Chuck said Golden State was going down. He said Durant was the reason for their dynasty and that they not only would not beat the Rockets without him, but they also wouldn’t beat either Portland or Denver.

Fast forward two weeks and the Warriors went 5-0 without Durant, or 6-0 if you count the Game 5 win over the Rockets when KD got hurt. By sweeping Portland they’ve earned themselves extra rest before the NBA Finals begin on May 30.

The Warriors have been so good since Durant got hurt that it’s prompted debates from people wondering whether they’re better without him. The answer to that question is no, they’re not a better team, though Durant’s absence gives other players more of an opportunity to shine, and they’re taking advantage of it, which makes it look like some players are better without him.

Chuck did predict Virginia would win the NCAA Tournament, so we will give him credit for that bold call at the same time that we criticize him for this one. At least he’s 1-for-2 on postseason predictions so far.

Charles Barkley donates $45,000 to Malcolm Brogdon’s charity mid-interview

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley can come off as a goof and clown at times during TNT’s coverage of the NBA, but he’s also a charitable and caring human being as well. He showed that on Friday night.

Malcolm Brogdon joined TNT’s crew for an interview after his Milwaukee Bucks beat the Toronto Raptors 125-103 during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals. Towards the end of the interview, Brogdon was asked about his charity, which involves bringing clean water to Africa.

While Brogdon was discussing the charity, Barkley asked how much it cost to put in a well. When told it was $45,000, Barkley pledged the money on the spot.

Brogdon’s charity is called Hoops2o, and it’s a nonprofit that was created as part of Chris Long’s Waterboys charity.

That was an awesome gesture by Barkley. We just hope they make it clear it’s the “Charles Barkley Well” and maybe put a photo up of him next to it, like this one.

Charles Barkley tells Joel Embiid to kiss his a– over criticism

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley has never been one to back down from criticism of a player, and he’s not about to now.

Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal have been crushing Joel Embiid on TNT throughout the Philadelphia 76ers’ Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Toronto Raptors for performing poorly while ill. They criticized him after Philly’s Game 4 loss and then again after Game 5 of the series.

Embiid addressed the criticism before Game 7 of the series on Sunday, dismissing Barkley’s opinion.

“Charles, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about sometimes,” Embiid said. “He just be saying whatever he wants to.”

Barkley heard the comments and responded before Game 7. Telling Embiid and other players upset with his criticism to kiss his a– led Shaq to lose it.

Embiid didn’t mean his comments maliciously towards Barkley. He did what’s best for him ahead of a game, which is to dismiss it rather than let it get in his head. But Barkley’s attitude about matters is perfect. He’s fair — calling people out when he feels it’s deserved and praising them otherwise.

Watch: Shaq still seems ticked off at Charles Barkley

Shaq TNT

Either Shaq is a heck of an actor, or the big man is still ticked off at Charles Barkley.

During TNT’s “Inside the NBA” postgame show following Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals between the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night, Barkley went long when doing some analysis, using up most of the time that was allotted for Shaq. Shaq was visibly upset and on the brink of blowing up over Barkley being a ballhog.

Take a look:

A day later, Shaq still looked like he wasn’t happy with Chuck. Here’s how the segment went on Wednesday before the Denver Nuggets-Portland Trail Blazers playoff game.

The way Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith handled that whole thing was superb. This sort of thing is exactly what makes this the best show on TV, and it’s not the first time the two have gotten into it.

Charles Barkley does not think much of the East’s first round games

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley has never been one to mince words if he thinks the quality of the NBA isn’t up to standard, and in his mind, it very much wasn’t on Tuesday.

The Philadelphia 76ers opened up a 60-31 lead over the Brooklyn Nets in the first half of Game 5 of their series, while the Toronto Raptors comfortably dispatched the Orlando Magic in a game that they led by 36 points at one point in the fourth quarter. In other words, neither of Tuesday’s Eastern Conference playoff games were remotely competitive, and Barkley was not afraid to say so at halftime of the Philadelphia blowout.

The NBA and TNT executives would probably prefer it if Barkley tried to give viewers a reason to stay tuned in, but competitive basketball was never going to be it. Besides, his honesty is one of the reasons he’s worth watching, and he’s said things like this before and probably will again.