Charles Barkley On The NBA Lockout: “Anybody Who’s Surprised Has Got To Be An Idiot.”


In case you may have missed it, David Stern is trying to kill the NBA.  Why?  Nobody knows.  Is it greed?  Power?  Money?  Just for the hell of it?  Your guess is as good as mine.  All I know is the good feelings about the NBA being as popular and as relevant as it has been in the post-MJ era is going to come crashing down quicker than Adam Morrison’s NBA career.  Idiot billionaire owners terribly mismanaging contracts given out to mediocre millionaire players has largely gotten us into the mess we’re in.  So, the first two weeks of the regular season have been canceled by Stern and the rest of the season, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, the Super Bowl, and Springtime are likely on his agenda of destruction as well.

One of the consequences of the lockout will be much less airtime for some of our favorite television personalities.  Think about it – no Marv Albert, Mike Breen, or Kevin Harlan.  No Steve Kerr.  No bizarre tangents on pop culture from Jeff Van Gundy.  No Reggie Miller… ok, perhaps that last one is a stretch.  Most of all though, no Inside the NBA and Charles Barkley.  Chuck went on the Waddle & Silvy show in Chicago to chat about the lockout and had some interesting things to say.  Enjoy it, because you may not hear much from Chuck for the next few weeks… or months… or years…

First, on the surprise in seeing games cancelled…

“Well, anybody who’s surprised has just got to be an idiot.”  

“I was the first person on the record, I didn’t think they’d play at all this season… if they take 50/50 that’s their only chance of playing this season.”

That’s encouraging.

On the business of the lockout and the real-life effect in seeing games cancelled…

“There’s two groups of people I feel bad for, I feel bad for the people who work for these teams because they’re going to start laying off some of these people soon… and the people who work at these arenas, it’s unfortunate.”

“I’m very uncomfortable giving away people’s jobs.  Do we have too many teams in the NBA?  Of course we do. the talent pool isn’t that deep.  I dont feel comfortable saying they dont need a team in that city when there’s a lot of people who depend on that team.”

One of the best in the sports media, CNBC’s Darren Rovell, is taking the Bart’s People route and bringing some of these human interest stories to light on his Twitter account…

My favorite is HANDLE WITHHELD losing money from gambling on NBA games.  My guess is that it’s an actual NBA player…

On the key issues of the lockout…

“I think David Stern is the best commish in sports, I listen to both of these sides very carefully and i dont listen to the BS.  If you notice Stern said in his statement last night, he mentioned every small market team.  There’s two things happening here, these owners are going to protect small market teams… we’re not going to have 20 bad teams like baseball and players go to the Yankees or Red Sox.  He mentioned every small market team, and that’s what this is about, they’re not going to let just the big markets dominate like in baseball.  These players aren’t going to get a better deal than 50/50, these owners are in it for the duration.”

On his plans during the lockout…

“I’m gonna play a lot of bad golf and I’m gonna take two days off a month and get my check.  I will tell you this, I am actually believe it or not leaning towards donating it (my paycheck) to charity to be honest.  I don’t think it’s cool for me to take money I haven’t earned.  I’m either going to defer it or give it to charity.  If these guys hold out all season, it’s gonna be a lot of money.”

So, to recap – anyone who didn’t see a lockout coming is an idiot, this lockout isn’t ending anytime soon, Chuck may donate his TNT salary during the lockout, this lockout isn’t ending anytime soon, and he’ll spend a lot of time on the golf course.  Let’s hope this means there will be an opportunity for a Haney Project sequel.  Perhaps he can make an appearance on “Wipeout” or start “Chuck vs” or make a spinoff of “Man vs Food.”  Maybe we’ll get lucky and he’ll eat David Stern.  Give us something during the lockout, Chuck!


Matt Yoder

About Matt Yoder

Award winning sportswriter at The Comeback and Awful Announcing. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.