Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley has rarely held back when criticizing current superstars for their performances on the court. Like many former players, “Chuck” is critical when situations call for it.
The former MVP’s work as an analyst has often earned him the ire of some basketball superstars who don’t want to be called out for their poor play. On an episode of the Ryen Russillo podcast, Barkley roasted these players as criticism is par for the course, even for the NBA’s biggest superstars:
“These guys are wussies. We’ve all gotten criticized. I got criticized, Dr. J got criticized, Magic Johnson got criticized. You know, every great player gets criticized, which is not excessive with these dudes today. It always annoys me and makes me laugh.”
The 11x All-Star continued to rip these hoopers who see criticism as an attack on their person:
“These guys act like they’re the first group players who ever got criticized. Go back, Michael Jordan, he can’t win, he’s just an individual scorer. Charles Barkley, great player, never won a championship, that’s a criticism I have to deal with. Every player has gotten criticized. The only difference is they whine, whine, whine more about it today.”
Over the years, Charles Barkley has never minced words criticizing LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and now NBA on TNT co-host Draymond Green, among others. To “Sir Charles” credit, his stinging rebukes were usually never out of bounds as they were almost always based on the players’ performance.
Barkley’s been wrong on numerous occasions, but his analysis has consistently been unbiased on how players perform. In some instances where he was wrong, he’s never been afraid to admit his mistakes as well.
Charles Barkley insists that some NBA stars deserved to be called out
Former NBA players who have become analysts such as Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal, Richard Jefferson, Tim Legler and Reggie Miller regularly go after players who fail to perform. They almost had the same stance regarding the Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook and Ben Simmons sagas that dominated most of this season’s headlines.
According to the “Chuckster,” these players who are earning millions should not get a pass when they don’t reach minimum expectations:
“I love Russell Westbrook, but it’s fair to criticize him 'cause he didn’t play well. It’s fair to criticize Anthony Davis cause he can’t stay healthy, same thing with Zion. Kyrie, being whatever the hell he is, I got no problem with guys saying things about him. So this notion that nobody has ever gotten criticized is just total b.s.”
Charles Barkley’s most publicized back-and-forth this season, however, was between Kevin Durant when the analyst labeled KD as a bus rider in his championships. The Brooklyn Nets star would reply with an Instagram post of Barkley in his later years playing a secondary role with the Houston Rockets.
The outspoken 59-year-old still has two years on his contract as an analyst for NBA on TNT. He doesn’t have any social media accounts, so if he retires, the basketball world will dearly miss his no-holds-barred comments on the league’s best basketball stars.