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“Magic took over from Kareem, Tony Parker took over from Tim Duncan” - Charles Barkley believes it’s ridiculous to expect LeBron James and Chris Paul to carry their team

Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns is introduced before Game 7 against the Dallas Mavericks.
Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns is introduced before Game 7 against the Dallas Mavericks.
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Christopher Eluemuno

Having spent 17 seasons in the NBA, Chris Paul is currently 36 years of age and has continued to perform at the highest level. There have been rumors that the Phoenix Suns' point guard has made his last appearance in the league. However, there is no truth to these rumors as Paul is set to continue with the Suns.

Their exit from the playoffs has not been well received by fans and he has come under heavy criticism. They lost their second-round series against the Dallas Mavericks despite being up 2-0.

Charles Barkley has directed the attention to Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton and the other younger players on the Suns' roster, stating that it is ridiculous to expect the 12-time All-Star to be the best player at 36 years old.

He made it known that it was time for Booker and Ayton to step up and become the best players on the roster. Barkley said:

"I criticize Booker and Ayton. It's time for those guys to take over and be the best players. To ask a 38-year-old CP to be best player, he single-handedly won the New Orleans series for you, he got you a two zip, he probably ran out of gas because Luka was beating the hell out of him. But to ask a 38-year-old guy to carry you at this stage of his career."
The Charles Barkley Pod!Conference FinalsDoes he care if anyone loses?What happened to PHX?Can Giannis surpass Shaq?Embiid and the rules for stars when it comes to criticismA Commissioners role with playersHis career and futureopen.spotify.com/episode/09pdXY…

He referenced Magic Johnson taking over for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Tony Parker for Tim Duncan, then Kawhi Leonard, with each of them becoming the best players. As such, it is unfair to expect Chris Paul to be the same person he was when he was five-10 years younger. Barkley stated:

"Magic took over for Kareem. Tony Parker took over for Tim Duncan to Kawhi Leonard. As the guy gets older, it's unfair for us to ask him to be the guy he was five-10 years ago."

Charles Barkley likens Chris Paul being required to be the best at 36 to LeBron James with the LA Lakers

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns.
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns.

Having had a long and successful career without a championship, Chris Paul has been held to a different standard, with people questioning his abilities. Since joining the franchise in 2020, he has been expected to lead the Phoenix Suns to their first ever title.

He joined the Suns at the age of 35 as he drew close to the end of his career in the league. He has, however, led the Suns to two consecutive playoff appearances for the first time in 20 years. But nothing short of the title is seemingly acceptable by fans and analysts who have continued to criticize CP3.

If only Chris Paul could have levitated the way he does in the State Farm commercial in Games 3-7 vs these Mavericks.

Barkley compared Chris Paul's situation to that of LeBron James with the LA Lakers. He shared that while James is one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA at age 38, he is no longer the same player he was a few years back.

Barkley remarked that it is absurd to expect LBJ at 38 to be the best player within the team and the same applies to CP3 at 36, stating:

"LeBron is one of the greatest ever. But I said the team is gonna suck unless Anthony Davis plays like the top five NBA players. Because at 38 years old, LeBron is not the same player he was. Forget the stats.
"He's just getting numbers but the team wasn't winning. Not comparing the two, but I'm comparing the two because expecting LeBron at 38 to be your best player is ridiculous."

Edited by Adam Dickson
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