Charles Barkley on Early Stages of NBA Season: “I’m embarrassed about the product we’re putting out there right now.”February 1, 2012 – 7:15 am by Steven Cuce
It’s time to check back in with Charles Barkley here at SRI. Barkley never seems to disappoint when it comes to a radio interview because he’s never shy about his thoughts.
The former Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns power forward is very hard on the NBA for the product the league is putting out right now. Barkley is also in Derrick Rose’s corner after last Sunday’s performance against the Miami Heat.
Charles Barkley joined ESPN Chicago with Waddle and Silvy to discuss preparing for the NCAA tournament/NBA games, the Philadelphia 76ers not having a shot to win the NBA championship this year, the Chicago Bulls having a chance to win if Luol Deng is hurt all year, Skip Bayless being a punk for criticizing Derrick Rose, and the NBA being a poor product right now.
What have you been up to? Too much working?
“I been watching two to three games a day of college landscape, I am starting to prep for the NCAA tournament. The NBA is pretty much over now. I can tell you right now the Bulls and Miami are so far ahead of everybody in the Eastern Conference it’s not even close. In the West I look at Portland, Denver, Oklahoma City, they so far ahead of everybody it’s scary.”
Now the Bulls have the Sixers next. Wouldn’t Doug Collins be upset to hear you say that Philadelphia has no shot this year?
“They have got no shot. The are probably the third best team in the East is probably Indiana. It was funny – I was watching and scouting the game Sunday and Magic [Johnson] picked his five best teams in the East and he didn’t have Philly in his top five. Philadelphia has a good team and Doug has done a good job, but take the Bulls and Miami out of the equation, they light years ahead of everybody, Indiana is the third best team I’ve seen in the East, but they Can’t beat Chicago or Miami. That’s going to be a monster series Chicago and Miami. Even though they lost the game Sunday, those boys were balling I was impressed with Chicago, clearly [Luol] Deng injury is going to be a sticking point but they are going to have a monster series when they play each other just like they did last year.”
Do the Bulls even have a chance if Luol Deng is injured all year?
“Bro didn’t you watch the game Sunday. Well can they beat Miami? I’m not sure if they could bear them [without Luol Deng] but they almost beat them Sunday. I watched the that game from beginning to end. It was a terrific basketball game. I think Jeff Van Gundy is terrific on television. This tells me that Tom Thibodeau can coach. When he put Derrick Rose back in the game with 2 fouls, I agree with Van Gundy he said all the coaches who take their players out of the game when they got 2 fouls are stupid. You have to know who you are putting back in the game, and his fouls never came into play. You guys are so Lucky to have Derrick Rose in Chicago, that guy is just a stud, he is a great player, but he is a good dude too. You guys are lucky to have him.”
You seem to love what Derrick Rose did in that game. There were many people who criticized him like Skip Bayless:
“Anybody who goes after Derrick Rose is just an idiot. First of all I think Skip Bayless is the biggest punk in the world. He is the biggest punk in the world. How can you go after Derrick Rose? First of all he is the reigning MVP, the Bulls have the first or second best record in the NBA. I don’t understand? Those are the first two free throws he missed all year in the 4th quarter. How can you go after him? Anybody who goes after him is just an idiot. You guys are so blessed and lucky to have him in Chicago. I just hate Skip Bayless. I hate using the word hate, but it works in his favor. I don’t even watch him anymore. I told Dan Patrick: Thank god for Dan Patrick because he gives me something to listen to in the morning. If you just go after the big stars that don’t make you a journalist. That makes you a punk. That’s what Skip Bayless is.”
What is your reaction to Derrick Rose’s postgame comments after the loss to the Heat?
“I would say hey man relax a little bit you gone miss some shots, but if I’m a Chicago Bulls fan, I’m saying to myself we good for the next ten years that guy is the leader of our team. As a NBA fan I want to apologize to the fans, I cannot believe how bad the NBA is right now, I’m a fan first and foremost, watching the NBA right now I’m embarrassed about the product we’re putting out there right now. It’s no fun for me to watch these games, I feel bad for the fans. There are probably ten teams worth watching on a nightly basis. They have all these built in excuse about it’s the lockout. Let me tell you something if these teams played once a week they would still suck. You watch one of these teams and they rested for a week they would still suck. I don’t know man. I feel bad for the fans.”
Listen to Charles Barkley on 1000 ESPN Chicago here [Interview begins at the 41:30 mark of the podcast]