For much of his broadcasting career, Charles Barkley has been critical of the Los Angeles Lakers and in particular Kobe Bryant. Barkley reversed course a few weeks back, placing Bryant ahead of LeBron James on his list of the greatest players of all-time, which isn’t a popular opinion.
Naturally, reaction from the Lakers fan base was positive. Barkley may have again put himself in their good graces by taking aim at the Clippers following Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals.
After their loss, Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni said he was comfortable with where his team remained — one win from the NBA Finals, with a decided Game 7 coming at home.
Barkley agreed with the sentiment, but joked the Rockets would much prefer to be facing a lesser opponent, as seen on TNT’s “Inside The NBA” postgame show:
“He’s 100 percent correct. If somebody said before the season started, ‘Hey, we could have one game to get to the NBA Finals, at home,’ every coach would take that one. … But you’d rather be playing the Clippers.”
With a win, the Warriors will reach the NBA Finals a fourth consecutive season. The Rockets last appeared there in 1995, when Kenny Smith was on the team that swept Shaquille O’Neal and the Orlando Magic.
While Barkley’s remark was in good fun, recent comments have landed him in hot water. There was backlash and an apology issued after Barkley said he wanted to punch Warriors forward Draymond Green.
Although Barkley apologized the following day, he brought up his belief of Green being an irritant when Kevin Durant appeared as a guest on TNT’s flagship show.
Barkley’s joke on Saturday night shouldn’t cause much of a stir considering it was harmless in nature. Plus, the Clippers have often served as a punching bag because of their franchise history and shortcomings in the playoffs.
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