NBA legend turned-renowned TNT basketball analyst Charles Barkley has never been one to hold his tongue. That’s the way “Sir Charles” was as a player, and he’s achieved a second level of celebrity in his role as a talking head and font of all knowledge of sorts. He’s even more opinionated in retirement.
He and co-host Shaquille O’ Neal get so heated in their debates at times, it almost looks as if they may come to blows. Barkley is often the great instigator. But in the end that’s what makes “CB34” must-see television.
Chuck, as he’s affectionately known, is notorious for having beefs with players (former and current). He considers it comedy, show biz even, and has no problem mentioning that.
He even has an ongoing feud with the Golden State Warriors fan base, which began years ago, when he said a strictly jump shooting team wouldn’t win a championship.
They’ve won three rings while playing for five, with another shot at one beginning Thursday. The fans make it a point to not let Barkley forget the success of Golden State at every turn. It’s gotten so turbulent that Barkley picks against the Dubs strictly based on his dislike for their fans.
On a recent episode of the Dan Patrick Show the 1993 NBA MVP had this to say about picking the Mavericks to upset the Warriors:
“I didn’t think the Mavericks could beat the Warriors, as I said I just rooted for them because I hate the Warriors fans. … You know, the thing that’s interesting, they used to have great fans when they were over in Oakland,” Barkley said.
“I’ve said before I thought when they were in Oakland they had one of the best fan bases in the NBA, and now they just got a bunch of jackasses over in San Francisco.”
Barkley and the Warriors fans went at it nightly as the NBA on TNT crew was live at the Chase Center. Barkley could even be overheard telling some of the fans what he’d do to their mothers if they didn’t stop the heckling.
The beef eventually elevated to fans throwing towels at Barkley during a postgame segment.
Ernie Johnson "Hey! Chuck! Chuck, sit down man!"
Kenny Smith: "Sit down, Chuck. Sit down Chuck."
Charles Barkley was HEATED after Warriors fans threw shirts and liquids at the NBA on TNT stage 😡pic.twitter.com/PQR1D9hNMW
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 27, 2022
While it was all in fun, there is long-standing tension there.
Barkley Says No Jump-Shooting Team Could Win The Title
During a NBA on TNT segment in 2015, Barkley made it clear that he didn’t think a perimeter team that relied on long-range bombing could win an NBA championship.
“I don’t like jump-shooting teams” Barkley said at the time. “I don’t think you can win the championship, beating good teams by shooting jumpers.“
Golden State proved him wrong, beat LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers to capture the 2015 NBA title and then became the blueprint for the entire league’s style of play.
Barkley did say he doesn’t see the Warriors’ success becoming the norm because teams don’t have guards that can dial it up from distance like the Splash Brothers.
To an extent, he was correct, as the Warriors were forced to add Kevin Durant to form the greatest shooting trio the league has seen. The trio won two titles together.
Warriors Fanbase Is Passionate: Barkley Is Still Eating His Words
The Warriors have a pretty rabid fanbase and at one time Oracle Arena was the hardest place to win a game. Their 54-game home winning streak that began during the 2014-15 season and carried over into the 2015-16 season is the longest in league history. And while the move to San Francisco was met with some skepticism, it’s starting to look and feel like Oracle Arena. The team is 9-0 at home in the playoffs, and the energy from the home crowd has paid major dividends.
With their team just four wins away from a fourth NBA title in eight seasons, expect a raucous, rambunctious, crowd to fill the beautiful Chase Center for the NBA Finals. Should be big fun.