‘This Is How Stupid They Are’ | Charles Barkley Calls Out ESPN For “Irrelevant Lakers” Coverage During NBA Finals

The 2024 NBA Finals got off to an ugly start on and off the court. The Dallas Mavericks looked overwhelmed by a Boston Celtics squad that’s been the league’s best team all season.

In the 107-89 loss the Mavericks trailed by as many as 29 points at one point (58-29), and only mustered nine assists as a team. Superstar Luka Doncic finished with a career-low one assist, which is nine less than his per game average of 10 per game. But, as bad as the product on the floor was, it couldn’t top the ugliness that occurred throughout ESPN’s pregame, halftime and postgame show, which was focused heavily on the Lakers coaching search instead of the NBA Finals.

NBA legend and “Inside the NBA” analyst Charles Barkley didn’t hold back when criticizing the network’s shows and how they missed the mark with their platform.

Barkley, who was affectionately known as the “Round Mound of Rebound” during his playing days made sure to call out the constant talk about the Lakers, who are attempting to hire UConn head coach Danny Hurley as their new coach. Barkley even called them the “irrelevant Lakers,” further showing his disdain for focusing on them with the NBA Finals taking place and the Stanley Cup Finals starting up this weekend.

Barkley Lays It On Thick With Outkick

In an interview Friday with Dan Dakich of Outkick, Sir Charles had this to say: 

I’m not going to lie. I love being Dan Hurley. This has nothing to with being Hurley, and good luck with him if you go to the Lakers. But I was so pissed with Game 1 of the Finals, and you have Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals coming on, for them to spend the first hour talking about what if Danny Hurley goes to the Lakers?”

“I was so pissed yesterday I had to turn my TV off,” Barkley continued. “I’m not going to lie. I’m like this is how stupid they are. Y’all got the Stanley Cup Finals and the NBA Finals and y’all talk about a team that’s irrelevant. And I’m like that whoever’s doing that program, it got to be the stupidest, most boneheaded people in the world. I’m like, oh, if he goes, we’ll talk about it.”

Barkley wasn’t the only one to call out ESPN’s lack of coverage and analysis of Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Fans were also taken aback by the complete disregard for quality in-depth analysis by the panel led by Stephen A. Smith and Michael Wilbon. 

Barkley Isn’t Too Fond Of ESPN

Hearing Barkley call out ESPN is nothing new. In fact, just last week the “Inside The NBA” analyst said he has no interest in joining ESPN if in fact TNT is left out of the NBA television deal.

Speaking on the “Sports Illustrated Media Podcast,” the 1993 NBA MVP was pretty adamant about why he wouldn’t entertain a move to ESPN.

“ESPN Radio, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes,” Barkley began. “I mean HELL NO! As much as I love ESPN, I just turned 61. The notion that I’m go to be working like a dog in my mid-60s, that’s definitely not going to happen.” 

Hopefully, hearing Barkley and fans call them out ESPN for a poor show prior to Game 1, they step it for Game 2. That’s not likely though.

With the Lakers job still in limbo, the daily coverage won’t subside. Until they hire someone it’ll be included in every show on the network. That’s also another reason Barkley is not interested in joining them. He isn’t gonna talk about the Lakers or any other team that isn’t playing at that time every single show. 

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