Charles Barkley went in on the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.
The Sixers visited the Milwaukee Bucks for the first half of TNT’s doubleheader. Speaking ahead of the game on “Inside the NBA”, Barkley ripped his former team for being soft and mentally weak.
“I think they are the softest, mentally weakest team that had a bunch of talent,” Barkley said. “They are the Cleveland Browns of the NBA. They have a lot of talent, and they talk the talk, and that’s it.
“They just talk. They are weak mentally and physically.”
Prior to the season, Barkley picked the Sixers to make the Finals and now believes he got caught up in hype. At the center of his argument that the team is mentally weak is Philly’s 9-18 road record compared to their 22-2 home record. He thinks it’s much easier to win when you have the adulation and support from the home crowd but much tougher when you’re not at home, and the poor road record shows the 76ers are weak.
Barkley isn’t the only one calling the team soft; Ben Simmons said the same thing after his team’s blowout loss to the Heat this week.
Philly has been disappointing so far, but they picked up a few players from the Warriors in a trade that they’re hoping can solidify their team. They don’t seem to be in the same class as Milwaukee though, that’s for sure.
Charles Barkley is known for his brutal honesty, and he did not hold back when taking a jab at Kenny Smith on Thursday night.
The matter began when TNT showed LeBron James talking with Bill Clinton, who attended the Los Angeles Lakers’ win over the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Smith said he would be recognized by the former president, but Barkley disagreed.
Chuck joked that Clinton would say hello if he saw Barkley or Shaq, but would ask for a hot dog from Smith.
That’s ruthless, but exactly what Chuck does best.
Smith met President Clinton during a Houston Rockets visit to the White House for winning the NBA championship.
Don’t feel too badly for Smith about being mocked by Barkley; Kenny’s gotten plenty of shots in at Chuck over the years.
Charles Barkley said in the past that the only negative comments he has ever made about Draymond Green have to do with the Golden State Warriors star’s attitude, but Barkley can no longer safely claim that.
Like the Warriors as a whole, Green is having a down season this year without Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson by his side. Many thought his stats would receive a significant boost with Durant gone and Curry and Thompson recovering from injuries, but that has not happened. Barkley took a shot at Green over his numbers during the TNT broadcast on Thursday night when he said, “Draymond don’t talk as much now that he’s averaging a triple-single.”
Shaq loved the joke and asked Barkley to repeat it, and of course Chuck obliged.
Barkley and Green have had a long-running feud that came to a head when Barkley said he wants somebody to punch Draymond in the face because of the way Green complains about foul calls. The two later had a pleasant interaction on live TV during the NBA playoffs, with Barkley saying he has never made any negative remarks about Green’s game. With Green averaging 8.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game for the 9-33 Warriors, Barkley couldn’t resist kicking the big man while he’s down.
Joel Embiid put up a monster performance on Thursday night, and he admitted after the game that he was motivated by some criticism from the TNT crew.
On Tuesday, Embiid’s Philadelphia 76ers beat the Denver Nuggets 97-92. Embiid had 22 points and 10 rebounds, which are nice stats, but nothing special for him. The game before, in a win over Toronto, Embiid had just 10 points and eight rebounds.
Watching Embiid play well Tuesday but not thoroughly dominate led TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaq to say they wanted to see more out of the Sixers big man. Barkley said it was “frustrating” to not see Embiid live up to his potential. Shaq said that Embiid was not playing hard enough. Both analysts framed their criticism in the context of believing Embiid can be one of the greatest players in the league.
Embiid was asked Thursday about the comments from the analysts and said he agreed.
Embiid went out and had 38 points with 13 rebounds in a 115-109 win over Boston on Thursday. He admitted after the game that the comments from Barkley and Shaq played a role in his big game.
“Obviously those guys are great, they’re Hall of Famers. When you got guys like that telling you that they trust you, that I can be great, I take it to heart,” Embiid told TNT in a postgame interview. “I understand where they’re coming from. I know I have that potential, but I haven’t shown that especially this season. So I took it and wanted to come out and be better.
“I appreciate whatever they said. I think it played a part in what I did tonight.”
Embiid seems to be caught in a difficult place. He says the emphasis from the team has been for him to balance the desire to play hard every night with the more important goal of being healthy for the postseason. He also is trying to blend with a team that includes some new teammates.
Philly is now 19-7, and Embiid showed he can bring out his best when he wants to. He’s also showing that he’s handling the criticism from Barkley and Shaq better now, especially after they were on him during the playoffs last season.
Charles Barkley is known for pushing the envelope with his unapologetic style, and that is the main reason his time as a broadcast analyst has been arguably more successful than his playing career. It also gets him into trouble on occasion.
Alexi McCammond, a reporter for Axios, took to Twitter on Tuesday night to reveal that Barkley made what he called a “joke” to her about wanting to assault her. She said the remark came in response to her pointing out inconsistencies with Barkley’s political endorsements.
Barkley obviously had no intention of hitting McCammond, but the reporter wasn’t the only one who didn’t see the humor in his comment. Many people began unloading on the Hall of Famer and pointing out that he has made inappropriate quips about domestic violence in the past in addition to providing sexist commentary.
These are the reasons Barkley is a polarizing figure who drives ratings. On one side you have people who will laugh at what he said to McCammond, and on the other there are people who are outraged. Barkley has shown in the past with remarks like the ones he made about the women of San Antonio that he is unafraid of ruffling feathers. Although when he crosses the line, he does apologize like he did on Wednesday:
Charles Barkley had some harsh comments for Hassan Whiteside after watching the Portland big man get outplayed in the first half of Thursday night’s game against the LA Clippers.
Whiteside was held to two points and had allowed 11 points and nine rebounds in the half to Clippers big man Ivica Zubac. That led Shaq to be critical of Whiteside during the halftime show.
That was nothing compared to Barkley though, who went in on Whiteside.
“He got that money in Miami then packed it in,” Barkley said of Whiteside. “The Blazers were stupid enough to take him in. … He hasn’t played with effort for years.”
Barkley later offered the harshest line of all regarding Whiteside’s strength as a player, saying it was “going to the bank twice a month, stealing money.”
Here’s the video:
Maybe someone shared the comments to Whiteside in the locker room, because he came out and played much better in the second half. He finished with 17 points and 19 rebounds. His Blazers still lost 107-101.
One of the best parts about Charles Barkley is that he’s not out to just talk trash for grandstanding purposes. He means what he says and will tell it to your face, even if you’re an NBA All-Star.
Prior to the start of Thursday night’s LA Clippers-Golden State Warriors game, Barkley said on TNT’s pregame show that he thought the Warriors would be a 7th or 8th seed in the Western Conference playoffs. He was toying with the idea of saying they would miss the playoffs entirely, but was not willing to go that far.
Well, after watching the Warriors play in the first half against the Clippers, Barkley changed his opinion. Chuck told Klay Thompson, who is recovering from a torn ACL, that the Warriors’ window is shut. Barkley also said the Warriors wouldn’t make the playoffs.
Thompson said Barkley had the right to be pessimistic, but the Warriors guard expressed confidence in the team’s young players.
“I think it’s exciting. I think we’ve got enough guys to get us there at least,” Thompson said.
Steve Kerr said this week that he was not expecting to have Thompson back this season. So if Golden State does make the playoffs, it might be playing the entire year without Thompson. The real challenge is that the West is so stacked with talent, it will be hard to beat out all the competition.
Charles Barkley issued a strong response to Vice President Mike Pence.
Earlier on Thursday, Pence weighed in on the NBA’s Hong Kong-China controversy. Pence said the NBA sided with the Chinese government by silencing free speech.
“Some of the NBA’s biggest players and owners who routinely exercise their freedom to criticize this country lose their voices when it comes to the freedom and rights of the people of China,” Pence said. “It’s siding with the Chinese Communist Party and silencing free speech.
“The NBA is acting like a wholly owned subsidiary of that authoritarian regime,” Pence added. “A progressive corporate culture that willfully ignores the abuse of human rights is not progressive, it is repressive.”
TNT had NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on as a guest for their pregame show on Thursday night prior to the Bucks-Rockets game. They discussed the China matter, and Barkley had harsh words for Pence.
“Vice President Pence needs to shut the hell up, number one,” Barkley said. “All American companies are doing business in China. I thought the criticism of Commissioner Silver and LeBron James was unfair. Daryl Morey, who I like, he can say whatever he wants but there are consequences. I don’t understand why all these holier-than-thou politicians, if they so want to worry about China, why don’t they stop all transactions with China?
“I think it’s unfair for them to do all their business in China, and just because this thing happened, try to make the NBA and their players look bad.”
A similar discussion arose on Tuesday ahead of the league’s first games of the season. Shaq backed Daryl Morey over his tweet, citing America’s core tenant of free speech. Barkley also pushed back at that time.
Morey’s expression of support for protesters in Hong Kong was backed by members of both political parties. However, there were some, like Barkley, who felt the criticism of the league went too far. Others felt the NBA and its players showed serious inconsistency for their willingness to speak out against injustice in America but not in a country where they do business. LeBron James even went so far as to express a belief Morey should have been punished for supporting the protesters.
Do you support Free Speech? Do you stand with Daryl Morey? Get the shirt that says so below!
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 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.