Charles Barkley has never shied away from making bold predictions, and the Hall of Famer looks pretty good now after one of the ones he made at the start of the 2020-21 season.
During TNT’s NBA tip-off show back in December, Barkley decided to go out on a limb and guarantee that two of the Eastern Conference’s worst teams last season — the Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards — would make the playoffs this year.
The Wizards, of course, had just acquired Russell Westbrook in a trade with the Houston Rockets. They finished ninth in the East last season without Westbrook, so that prediction wasn’t all that wild. It was more bold of Barkley to express confidence in the Hawks, who won just 20 games last year and finished 14th in the East.
The Hawks had a huge turnaround this year and finished 41-31, which secured the No. 5 seed in the East. Washington went 34-38 and will travel to Boston as the No. 8 seed to face the No. 7 seed Celtics in a play-in game.
Chris Paul had to cut off Charles Barkley after a question he received on Thursday night.
Paul’s Phoenix Suns topped the Portland Trail Blazers 118-117 in TNT’s second game of a doubleheader. After the game, CP3 was interviewed by TNT’s crew.
Barkley talked with Paul about the Suns being in the No. 2 spot in the West. Typically, a No. 2 team faces a No. 7 team in the playoffs that isn’t too likely to pull an upset. But the Lakers and Warriors are among teams that could wind up No. 7.
Barkley pointed out that usually it might be an easier opponent, but this year the No. 7 team could be a stout challenger. Paul stepped in mid-question.
“Chuck, I hate to cut you off, but I’ve been in the West my whole career. The West ain’t never been easy,” Paul said of the Western Conference. “I don’t care who you playing, what series it is, what game it is … I played in New Orleans in that division with Memphis and Houston, Dallas when they was nice with Dirk … the West always going to be (difficult). If you try to match up with someone else, you can still get it handed to you.”
That’s a good point. The West has been a tough challenge in the playoffs for the last two decades. There have been plenty of good teams even in the No. 7 spot.
However, Barkley’s point is a very valid one. The Lakers are the defending champions. The Warriors were recently a dynasty. Both teams are extremely dangerous, and more difficult than your typical No. 7 seed. Perhaps Barkley’s choice of wording was poor (he said “easier”), but his overall point was accurate.
Charles Barkley used to have one of the worst golf swings imaginable, but the Hall of Famer has finally managed to work out the kinks.
Barkley took part in the Regions Tradition charity golf tournament in Hoover, Ala., on Wednesday. Everyone was expecting to see the same old clunky swing for which Barkley has been ruthlessly mocked in the past, but the 58-year-old shocked the world on the first tee.
Charles Barkley has never been shy about sharing his opinion on any topic, and that includes his perception of the attractiveness of women in certain regions of the United States. Georgia was the latest state on Chuck’s list, and we don’t mean that in a good way.
During some highlights of the Los Angeles Lakers-Dallas Mavericks game on TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” Ernie Johnson pointed out that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope went to school at the University of Georgia. In doing so, Johnson inadvertently set Barkley up to burn the women of Georgia with a vicious one-liner.
Charles Barkley “Georgia the only school in the world that they named their mascot after the women down there”
“The only school in the world where they named their mascot after the women down there,” Barkley said.
Barkley, of course, was referring to the Bulldogs. His co-hosts are accustomed to those types of remarks, and they reacted as they always do.
Anyone who follows “Inside the NBA” knows Barkley was just adding to an old schtick he has. He has taken multiple shots at San Antonio women over the years, the most recent of which you can see here. The jokes have led to some backlash from certain groups, but there are few people more unapologetic than Chuck. That’s why he’s so good at what he does.
Charles Barkley on Thursday gave his prediction for who will win the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
TNT aired the clash between the Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks, who are two of the top teams in the conference. During halftime of the game, Barkley talked about how competitive the top of the conference is. That led Ernie Johnson to ask the crew who they were picking to win the conference.
Shaq picked the Brooklyn Nets. Kenny Smith was unsure. Barkley said he thought the Bucks would not only finish with the top record in the conference, but also reach the NBA Finals.
Who's gonna Win the East?
SHAQ: Brooklyn Nets Jet: Philadelphia Sixers Chuck: Milwaukee Bucks
"I think the Bucks gonna finish with the no.1 record in the east" – Charles Barkley
“I think they’re going to finish with the No. 1 record in the East,” Barkley said. “I truly believe that. I think the addition of Jrue Holiday, (PJ) Tucker … I think Milwaukee’s going to win the East.”
The Bucks ended up beating the Sixers 124-117 and are 2.5 games behind the Nets and Sixers for the top spot in the conference. So they have some ground to make up.
Winning the East won’t be easy given how tough both Philly and Brooklyn can be. The injuries Brooklyn is facing will likely be a big factor in determining who emerges.
Charles Barkley wants the Brooklyn Nets to lose in the playoffs and has a good reason for feeling that way.
Barkley and the TNT crew members were talking after the Boston Celtics-Los Angeles Lakers game on Thursday night. Barkley was talking about how the Washington Wizards could be a dangerous early opponent if they make the playoffs. He then mentioned that he would root for anyone who is facing the Nets.
“I’m always going to root against Brooklyn,” Barkley said. “I don’t like the way they put the team together. You know I’m never going to be a proponent of guys teaming up. Never going to be for it. I’m rooting for anybody to beat Brooklyn.”
Because Barkley doesn’t support players who join up to form superteams.
Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant teamed up (along with DeAndre Jordan) on the Nets prior to last season. The team has since only gotten stronger. They added former MVP James Harden, who forced a trade there; former 6-time All-Star Blake Griffin; and LaMarcus Aldridge, who just retired.
ESPN has been desperate for years to find a strong personality that could elevate its “Monday Night Football” broadcast, but the network has been turned down by a number of former NFL stars since Jon Gruden returned to coaching. According to Charles Barkley, at least one NBA legend was also part of the discussion at one point.
Barkley made a shocking revelation during his recent appearance on “The Jim Brockmire Podcast” with Hank Azaria. While discussing why he stays off Twitter and ignores social media, Barkley said he prides himself on only joining a discussion when he knows what he is talking about. He then mentioned in passing that he was offered a job with “Monday Night Football.”
“I only comment on basketball,” Barkley said. “Like, they offered me the Monday Night Football (job) and I was like, ‘I like football, but I ain’t going to be one of these jacka–es and get on TV and act like he know about football.”
Barkley didn’t say what specific role ESPN offered him, but he did not sound like he was joking.
We wouldn’t be surprised if ESPN gauged Barkley’s interest in joining the “Monday Night Football” team. The product has suffered a great deal since Gruden left, and ESPN has been unable to land its top target despite multiple efforts.
If nothing else, Barkley would certainly attract viewers. You can hear his full comments from “The Jim Brockmire Podcast” below, but beware that the clip contains inappropriate language:
At 82 years old, Ralph Lawler is coming out of retirement just to dunk on Charles Barkley.
The TNT analyst Barkley ripped the LA Clippers at halftime of their game Thursday against the Phoenix Suns. Barkley referred to them as pretenders rather than contenders and joked that “the Clippers have always sucked.”
Charles Barkley: "I've been poor, I've been rich, I've been fat, I've been skinny, I've been old, I've been in the Hall of Fame and one thing I can always tell you,the Clippers have always sucked" pic.twitter.com/OdTF0YBnuP
Lawler, who was the voice of the Clippers for 41 seasons before retiring in 2019, tore into Barkley over the diss. Lawler wrote on Twitter that he was done sending Christmas cards to Barkley. He then clowned Sir Charles for having just as many NBA championships as the Clippers do.
Charles Barkley is Killing the Clippers on TNT half-time. He has received his last Christmas card from me. Fact is, Clippers have won exactly the same number of NBA titles as Chas.
Barkley is obviously known for some humorous and outspoken takes. But even if the Clippers have not made the conference finals in their franchise’s history, they have regularly put together 50-plus win seasons over the last decade. They are clearly no longer the cellar-dwellers that they used to be.
“I think most white people and black people are great people,” Barkley said. “I really believe that in my heart, but I think our system is set up where our politicians — whether they’re Republicans or Democrats — are designed to make us not like each other so they can keep their grasp of money and power. They divide then conquer.”
Barkley encouraged people to think for themselves rather than allowing politicians to manipulate them.
“I truly believe in my heart most white people and black people are awesome people, but we’re so stupid for following our politicians, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats,” he added. “Their only job is, ‘Hey, let’s make these people not like each other. We don’t live in their neighborhoods. We all have money. Let’s make the whites and blacks not like each other. Let’s make rich people and poor people not like each other. Let’s scramble the middle class.'”
Sister Jean was one of few people who predicted that Loyola Chicago would defeat No. 1 seed Illinois on Sunday, and Charles Barkley thought she was crazy. The Hall of Famer quickly learned that he should respect his elders.
Prior to Sunday’s game, Sister Jean told Andy Katz that she has Loyola in the Elite 8 in her bracket. Barkley was informed of that on live television and he mocked the prediction.
“If you can get Sister Jean on the phone, I want that bet,” Barkley said. “Listen, we all love Sister Jean, but they’re not gonna beat the Illini.”
Not only did Loyola beat the Illini, they won convincingly. The Ramblers controlled the game from the opening tip and looked like the better team for 40 minutes en route to a 71-58 win.
Sister Jean may be Loyola’s 101-year-old team chaplain, but she knows her basketball. Her pregame prayer on Sunday included an awesome scouting report, and her keys to the game proved to be incredibly accurate.