Charles Barkley on Inside the NBA Photo credit: Inside the NBA

Charles Barkley was apparently one of the “talking heads” who inspired the Denver Nuggets to save their season and he doesn’t seem thrilled about it.

With Denver trailing the Minnesota Timberwolves 2-0 in their Western Conference Semifinals series last week, many media members confidently declared the defending NBA champions dead. And with Denver’s head coach Michael Malone always ready to call out the media, he showed his team a video of everyone predicting the Nuggets were about to get swept.

“I had an edit made,” Malone admitted last week after Denver’s Game 3 win. “Of every talking head in this country saying, ‘The series is over, the Nuggets are done, it’s a wrap, they’re toast, Minnesota’s a better team.’ All the big personalities. You know who they are.”

One of those big personalities who said “This series is a wrap, Minnesota is better than the Nuggets” was Charles Barkley. With the Nuggets since tying the series 2-2, those predictions of a sweep by Barkley and others didn’t age well. Monday night on Inside the NBA, Barkley responded to Malone’s critique of the “talking heads” and defended his sweep prediction.

“That really was interesting that he [Malone] said that,” Barkley said. “Dude, we get paid to give an opinion. If you watched those first two games, you didn’t think Denver was going to win. They act like we just pulled it out of our a** or something or just made it up.”

“Now Denver’s playing great. And he wanna act like he played a tape. Man, I don’t care! You know, I’ve always liked Mike Malone, I really liked his dad. But he annoys me cause’ he thinks like he won a championship, he ain’t the greatest thing since sliced bread…Stephen A. and Mike Wilbon, all of us were apparently on this tape. But we only can go by what we saw.”

Barkley’s right, they get paid to have opinions and he’s great at giving them. But when those opinions and predictions fall flat, you also have to be ready to brush off some criticism. Barkley loves to call out the talking heads on other networks, it’s only fitting that Malone conversely called Barkley out for a bad hot take. Malone’s criticism wasn’t even that harsh. He made a compilation of people pronouncing the Nuggets dead as a motivational tactic. Big deal.

[Inside the NBA]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to