Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley is sick and tired of NBA players taking games off for what is dubbed “load management.” In an era of more player control and decision-making this has become a real problem as it pertains to practically healthy players taking games off. It’s a bad look for owners and fans, some who save up to come and see their favorite NBA players take the court, only to find out they’re a healthy scratch.
In an interview with Salt Lake City reporters the always outspoken Barkley talked about the very thing which he believes is plaguing the league.
“You can’t take my money and then say you want to divorce me in six months to a year,” Barkley explained. “You can’t take all my money and then say hey I want a divorce, so I’m pretty sure that’s the next thing to come out of the CBA. I don’t think there’s no doubt in my mind that these guys are going to be locked out.”
With the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) looming, player “load management,” amongst other things are expected to be sticking points which could hinder a deal being completed. If that happens it would be the first lockout since 2011, when the league played a 66-game regular season. That lockout was 161 days and began on July 1, culminating on Dec. 8.
“You can’t treat these owners and fans like crap,” he added. “Which these players are starting to do now with load management and then demand to be traded.”
Barkley Is No Stranger To Feuds With NBA Players
Those type of comments by Barkley are sure to stir up some things between him and the players. But it’s something the former Phoenix Suns legend seems to welcome, in fact he recently went back and forth with Kevin Durant, a newly acquired Suns player himself. “The Round Mound of Rebound,” has continually stated that Durant needs to lead his own team to a championship, and he called him a “bus rider” on the two titles he won with the Warriors.
KD never one to let any social media beef or feud go, responded by calling Barkley an “old head.”
Barkley also stated then that the Brooklyn Nets experiment with KD, Kyrie Irving and James Harden was a failure. That seemed to be an omen as the entire trio is now separated and on different teams after playing just 17 games together.
Kobe Bryant Would Never
With today’s player taking so much time off in season, it makes you miss players like the late, great Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, who played the entire 82-game regular season, even banged up.
Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, used to ask her husband why did he make it his duty to play in games when he was obviously injured. Bryant’s response was all about the fans and them paying their hard-earned money to see him play.
In a speech at Bryant’s Hall of Fame induction, she said this:
“Kobe played through injury after injury. He didn’t wanna disappoint his fans.”
Today’s NBA player could never.