NBA legend Bill Russell provided us with the most talked about moment from Monday’s NBA Awards show.
Russell ended up flipping the bird to Charles Barkley as Chuck was presenting the lifetime achievement award to Oscar Robertson. While he was doing his presenting, Barkley shouted out some of the NBA greats who had an impact on him, and that’s when he mentioned Russell. In response, the former Boston Celtics center raised his middle finger.
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) June 26, 2018
So why did he do it?
“Sorry everyone, I forgot it was live TV & I can’t help myself whenever I see Charles it just is pure instinct,” Russell said on Twitter.
That’s OK, Bill. We all forgive you. And it’s not like people can’t understand the urge to flip off Barkley anyhow.
Bill Russell was involved in an awkward moment with Charles Barkley during the NBA Awards ceremony on TNT Monday.
Barkley was on stage with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to present a lifetime achievement award to the great Oscar Robertson. Barkley thanked a few players, including Russell. When a TNT camera showed Russell, the legendary center flipped off Barkley in hilarious fashion.
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) June 26, 2018
Barkley laughed because that’s all he could really do in that situation. The two have a history of respect, as Barkley shared in this story. They also have a history of the middle finger apparently.
— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) June 26, 2018
Who in that room is going to question Bill Russell for his actions? My guess is no one.
Charles Barkley isn’t sold yet on Luka Doncic.
Entering Thursday’s NBA Draft, Barkley said he wouldn’t have taken Doncic with one of the top two picks. The TNT analyst says he has nothing against the Slovenian teenager, but Barkley questions the level of competition Doncic faced in Europe.
Chuck made his comments during an appearance on Scot Pollard’s “Planet Pollard Podcast.”
“I don’t trust the foreign competition. I have nothing against foreign players; I just don’t know what type of competition,” Barkley told Pollard. “At 18 years old [Luka Doncic] was the MVP. Well that tells me he’s playing against s—-y competition. Nobody at 18 should be dominating grown men.
“You go back and look at the NBA, there’s only one 18-year-old you can go back and say, ‘Oh, he’s the real deal.’ That’s LeBron James. People forget as great as Kobe Bryant was, he struggled for his first few years. Kevin Garnett struggled his first few years.
“They keep telling me that Doncic won the MVP 18 — I’m like, ‘who was he playing against?’ He should not be dominating grown men at 18.”
Barkley’s points are well taken, but the level of competition Doncic faced does not mean he will not be a good player. Even if it’s not the NBA, winning EuroLeague and being MVP at 18/19 is a big deal. Doncic also had success on the international level for Slovenia’s national team. Maybe Barkley needs to see it to believe it.
This is just another indication that the spotlight will be on Doncic when the season begins. He has a long way to go to make some of his NBA dreams come true.
The Philadelphia 76ers are considered one of the favorites to sign LeBron James this summer because of the solid young core they have in place, but one of the greatest players in franchise history insists the fit is not a good one.
In an appearance on “The Mike Missanelli Show” on 97.5 The Fanatic Tuesday, Barkley emphatically stated that LeBron is not going to sign with the Sixers.
“He’s not coming to the Sixers,” the Hall of Famer said, as transcribed by Corey Seidman of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “He’s not coming to the Sixers because he needs the ball, (Ben) Simmons needs the ball and (Joel) Embiid needs the ball. That would make Simmons useless.”
The “not enough basketballs to go around” argument seems to come up a lot with LeBron, and it should probably be noted that he’s one of the better passers in NBA. Still, Barkley feels that LeBron’s need to control the floor and have a team’s offense run through him would not work in Philly.
“He’s not going to give the ball up at this stage of his career,” Barkley said. “He’s not a great shooter, so you can’t play him off the ball. I guarantee you [defenders] would let him shoot threes all night. Guys would love him to shoot threes. … It would hurt Embiid and Simmons going forward.”
For what it’s worth, Barkley said he is not going to let LeBron “hijack my life” by sitting around all summer waiting to see which team he will choose next. Many people who claim they feel the same way will still be tuning in to find out the result.
If not having enough balls to go around ends up being the issue, that’s another reason we can rule out one Western Conference team everyone keeps linking LeBron to. LeBron’s decision will come down to what he wants at this point in his career. If championships are the only priority, it makes sense to remain in the Eastern Conference, where the path to the NBA Finals is much easier.
Don’t bother trying to compare LeBron James to Michael Jordan when you’re in Charles Barkley’s presence.
Chuck was on NBA TV after the Cleveland Cavaliers were swept out of the NBA Finals and had some harsh words about LeBron’s legacy. Though Chuck praised LeBron for being “amazing,” he said there is no comparison between the Cavaliers MVP and Jordan.
“He packed it in! He gave up,” Barkley said of James’ effort in the Game 4 loss to the Golden State Warriors.
Though Barkley was critical of James’ Game 4 loss, Chuck recognized that the loss “ain’t all on him.”
As far as the MJ debate, it’s over for Chuck.
“Any media person I see in-person for the rest of my life, who try to tell me LeBron James is as good as Michael Jordan, I’m just going to slap the hell out of them right on the spot! No question asked! LeBron James, who is amazing, as good as Michael Jordan? Or competes like Michael Jordan? I’m just going to slap the hell out of you right on the spot,” Barkley said.
Here’s the video:
Charles Barkley: "Any media person I see for the rest of my life who try to tell me LeBron James is as good as Michael Jordan, I'm just going to slap the hell out of them right on the spot."pic.twitter.com/VSelsJQWGI
— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeagueTSL) June 9, 2018
Barkley’s relationship with MJ has been fractured for a while, but those words could change things if they get back to Jordan.
Charles Barkley had some harsh criticism for the Cleveland Cavaliers after Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night.
The Cavs lost at home to the Golden State Warriors 110-102. They kept allowing easy layups at the basket to the Warriors off slip screen plays. Their inability to adjust led Barkley to call them “dumb.”
"I've never seen a team that dumb in my life" – Charles Barkley pic.twitter.com/ej89FmERTq
— Born Salty (@cjzero) June 7, 2018
“I’ve never seen a team that dumb in my life,” Barkley said while providing analysis after the game on NBA TV.
The play the Warriors kept scoring on was one NBA TV highlighted before the game, so they knew what was coming.
It’s much easier to criticize from a TV set though. When you have to guard the likes of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Kevin Durant, it’s not so easy. Sometimes you have to make a choice and if you double-team, you can pay for it as the Cavs did.
We’ve heard Barkley use words like that on fans before, but it’s not often he’s that harsh on a team that reached the NBA Finals.
The most anticipated moment of the NBA playoffs finally took place, and no, we’re not talking about the upcoming Game 7s.
Draymond Green and Charles Barkley finally got together on set for their first confrontation since Barkley said on TNT that he wanted to punch Green in the face. Their interaction was pleasant, with Barkley even explaining in front of Green what his issues are with the Golden State Warriors forward.
Charles Barkley and Draymond Green make peace and bury the hatchet live on Inside The NBA pic.twitter.com/TL2UIH6mxg
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) May 27, 2018
The two seemed to bury the hatchet. Draymond acknowledged that his complaining about fouls is an issue many others have raised with him. Barkley also tipped his cap to Green as the kind of player you’d love to have as a teammate but hate to play against as an opponent.
Amazingly, it all happened without anyone getting punched in the face!