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#pounditTuesday, January 26, 2021

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley on quarantine, took test for coronavirus

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley says that he has self-quarantined and is awaiting results of his test for coronavirus.

The NBA on TNT held a special edition of the program Thursday considering that the league is currently on suspension. Barkley was not in his usual spot on the set of the show. Instead, he was interviewed by telephone and shared that he was feeling ill upon returning to Atlanta from New York. Doctors recommended he self-quarantine for 48 hours. Barkley says he is on his second day of the quarantine and took a test for coronavirus Thursday. He says he is awaiting results of that test.

We hope that Sir Charles begins to feel better and that he doesn’t have the illness. He says he was also tested for the flu.

This happening to Chuck is another sobering reminder about the necessity to be careful during these times. The importance of containing the pandemic is paramount.

Charles Barkley calls for NCAA to cancel or postpone March Madness

Charles Barkley

The NBA has decided to put its season on hold after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for Coronavirus on Wednesday, and Charles Barkley feels the NCAA needs to do the same.

While the NCAA has already announced that games in the NCAA Tournament will be held in arenas without fans, Barkley does not believe that is enough. Barkley said on ESPN’s “Get Up!” Thursday morning that the NCAA needs to call off March Madness until everyone has a better understanding of how widespread Coronavirus has become.

“These kids are sweating, breathing, leaning on each other,” Barkley said. “That’s crazy.”

Not having fans at the games will obviously help limit the exposure and spread of the virus, but — to Barkley’s point — it does not protect everyone. All it takes is one player in the tournament to somehow become infected with Coronavirus, and we have already seen how quickly the virus can spread.

Barkley works for Turner Sports and is a huge part of their NCAA Tournament coverage, which is part of what makes his take on the situation noteworthy. Multiple NBA teams have now been quarantined because of Gobert’s positive test. Should a college player test positive, the NCAA may have no choice but to cancel or postpone the tournament.

Charles Barkley calls Draymond Green ‘the least famous person in the boy band’

Charles Barkley

As long as Draymond Green continues to respond, Charles Barkley is never going to stop messing with the Golden State Warriors star.

Barkley has been critical of Green for quite some time now, and Green responded last week to some of the latest negative commentary Barkley made about him. Green told reporters Barkley should “stop before I take his job” and ridiculed the Hall of Famer for never winning a championship.

“If he keeps talking, I’ll take it soon,” Green said, via ESPNs Nick Friedell. “Sooner than he thinks. Still, he probably should be quiet. He also can’t talk basketball with me, either. Not smart enough, not qualified — no rings can’t sit at this table.”

Barkley let that marinate for a few days, but he finally issued a response on Tuesday. The TNT analyst did not disappoint, telling “The Dan Patrick Show” that he views Green like a member of a boy band who doesn’t understand he isn’t the star of the show.

“I like Draymond. He’s a good player, but you know what he is? He’s like the guy in the boy band who’s the least important member, and he thinks the crowd is cheering for him,” Barkley said. “He doesn’t realize he’s standing next to Justin Timberlake. He’s the least famous person in the boy band and he thinks he’s a star.”

As for the prospect of Green taking Barkley’s job, Chuck said Draymond doesn’t have the face for it.

“First of all, he don’t have a face for TV,” Barkley joked. “He’s got a face for radio, and he’s not gonna get my TV gig.”

On a more serious note, Barkley said he is perfectly content with his own career and would not trade it for Draymond’s — even if it meant winning multiple NBA titles. Very few would argue that Green is anywhere near as good of a player as Barkley was, though plenty of people measure success strictly using championship hardware.

The war of words between Green and Barkley is one of the most entertaining in sports. Barkley said a few years ago that he wished someone would punch Green because Draymond complains to officials so much, and Chuck has roasted Green about his stats multiple times. The two appeared to settle their beef on live TV at one point, but they simply can’t resist taking shots at one another.

Video: Charles Barkley roasts Draymond Green for ‘triple-single’

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley roasted Draymond Green with a great line on Thursday night.

Green was ejected during the second quarter of his Golden State Warriors’ home game against the Los Angeles Lakers after picking up his second technical foul of the contest.

Barkley roasted Green at halftime of the game on TNT, mocking him for getting another “triple-single.”

True enough, Green had just 2 points, 1 rebound and 4 assists — a triple-single. Green is averaging 8.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game this season, which, yes, is a triple-single. Unlike the alluring triple-double where a player records double-figures in the three stat categories (points, rebounds, assists), the triple-single only requires one figure in each category, and is achieved by pretty much every player in the league.

Barkley and Green have had beef for a few years, going back to when Barkley wanted someone to punch Green for whining so much about the officials. Chuck actually used the “triple-single” line on Draymond last month too.

Charles Barkley defends John Beilein, calls out Cavaliers players

Charles Barkley

John Beilein’s tenure as the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers did not go well, and Charles Barkley believes a big part of that is due to the team’s players.

Barkley spoke on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” Thursday night, which was the first day of games since the All-Star break. Barkley said the Cavs players tried to get Beilein fired. He equally blamed the veterans for not being good leaders, and the young players for thinking they were too good to do what Beilein was asking of them.

“I want to call out the Cleveland Cavaliers. I thought what they did to Coach Beilein was ridiculous, unprofessional,” Barkley said on TNT. “I think the veterans on that team were not leaders. I think the young guys who can’t play think they’re better than they are and they tried to get that man fired.”

Beilein was unable to connect with his players or get them to buy in. The complaints from players had to do with practicing too hard, watching too much film, and Beilein trying to implement a college culture.

The blame for the issues probably falls on both parties. The players — and especially the veterans — maybe could have made a better effort to give Beilein a chance. And Beilein maybe could have worked harder to build trust first before implementing his complete culture.

Charles Barkley takes funny shot at Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley is having some fun with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid at the NBA All-Star Game.

The relationship between Simmons and Embiid has been scrutinized this season, with growing questions over whether the pair are a good long-term fit together. Barkley leaned into that on TNT’s All-Star pregame show when the two players, playing for separate teams in Sunday night’s game, were shown on screen together. Barkley joked that the two players operating against each other is nothing new.

Barkley hasn’t been shy in talking about these two before. Between Simmons’ hesitance to shoot jumpers and questions about Embiid’s health, the dynamic duo hasn’t quite turned out how the Sixers probably hoped it would. The questions about whether they’re a fit will continue, especially given some recent public comments. For now, though, Barkley is entitled to have his fun.

Charles Barkley rips 76ers for being soft, mentally weak

Charles Barkley

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 roasts Kenny Smith about his lack of fame

Kenny Smith Charles Barkley

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 takes shot at Draymond Green for averaging ‘triple-single’

Charles Barkley

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 agrees with criticism from Shaq, Charles Barkley

Joel Embiid 76ers

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.