Whether you love him or hate him, Charles Barkley leaves no doubt about his position – and that includes his feelings on the Nets.
On a conference call Wednesday promoting his participation in the American Century Championship golf tournament, the “NBA on TNT” analyst said he actively fights against the Brooklyn “super team” as they compete. pursues an NBA championship. Barkley appeared to challenge the way the Nets acquired Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in free agency and James Harden in an in-season trade with the Rockets.
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“I’m not a fan of super teams,” Barkley said (via Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News). “If they win it, they win it. But I want to be perfectly clear – I root against these guys. I root against all the great teams. I’m old school.”
Barkley doesn’t think the star stack is “good for the game,” noting that the best players of his day spent most or all of their careers with just one franchise, even though the team didn’t. was not considered a permanent competitor.
“Even though we didn’t win a championship, the Sixers were worth watching when I was there,” said Barkley. “The Knicks were worth watching. The Pacers were worth watching when Reggie [Miller] was here. Same with Atlanta and Dominique [Wilkins]. So I don’t think it’s good for business, but these young kids all fall back under peer pressure and feel like they need to win a championship or their lives suck. . . .
“I feel good about my heritage. I’m sure Patrick [Ewing] and Jean [Stockton] and Karl [Malone] do. James [James] started this great team thing and that’s the way the game is played. “
Barkley may not like the way the team has been put together, but the results (so far) speak for themselves. The Nets finished with the second best record (48-24) in the Eastern Conference behind only the 76ers (49-23), and they have won six of their first seven playoff games. Brooklyn looks a lot like a title favorite.
Despite the high level of success, the Nets remain in the shadow of the Knicks, one of the biggest surprises of the 2020-21 campaign. The Knicks were knocked out in the first round of the NBA playoffs, but they still feel like the New York team. Barkley was happy to point this out.
“The Brooklyn Nets have a much better team, but when they play it’s like a mausoleum. And they have a much better team,” said Barkley. “I want [the Knicks] because this place was on fire, and hope they keep improving because this place was on fire. I was there when there was a fire. It’s great for the NBA that the Knicks are doing well. “
Maybe Barkley will change his tone if the Nets manage to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy this year – probably not, however.