Barkley is known for speaking his mind and rarely cares about how his views will be received by players or fans alike. Appearing on his 'NBA on TNT' colleague and fellow league legend Shaquille O'Neal's podcast this week, the 58-year-old shared his views about the ongoing fiasco in Philadelphia regarding Ben Simmons' future. The former 76ers star was fairly scathing in his analysis:
"I'm disappointed in Ben Simmons. When you give somebody $200m to dribble a stupid basketball and the only thing you asked him was be better as a player and their first response is 'I don't wanna play here anymore', that disappoints me as a player. It disappoints me as a fan. They're saying 'Ben, we need you to learn how to shoot the basketball."
NBA legend Charles Barkley latest to weigh in on Ben Simmons scenario
Charles Barkley is as qualified as anybody to comment on a player's performance in the NBA, especially one who plays for the Philadelphia 76ers. The former power forward made a name for himself in the league while with the Sixers, spending eight seasons on the East Coast and earning six All-Star selections.
He led the NBA in rebounding during the 1986-87 campaign and averaged over 20 points a game for eleven straight years.
Given that he frequently calls out anybody involved in the NBA for their antics that he does not agree with, it is unsurprising to hear Barkley's comments on Ben Simmons.
The rhetoric around Simmons' future has been rumbling on for several months now. At the time of writing, trade rumors have gone stale considering the 76ers high asking price but Simmons has been reported as unwilling to attend the side's summer camp for training.
Therefore, a deal may yet be forced through unless the Philly brass stand firm.
If Ben Simmons were to stay with the Philadelphia 76ers for another year, he would need to improve his offensive output to win back the fanbase. However, as Charles Barkley referred to on the podcast, he isn't holding his breath on that happening.
"I live in Philadelphia during the summer. This is the third year in a row they put up them bulls**t jump shots during the summer. I'm not falling for the banana skin in the tailpipe anymore."
There is still a long way to go before the 2021-22 NBA season begins and we certainly haven't heard the end of the Ben Simmons saga just yet. Daryl Morey is unlikely to back down on his efforts to at least bring in another superstar to replace the point guard. But the Sixers won't want to begin the campaign without Simmons being an active member of the starting lineup.