Charles Barkley ranting about Congress on Inside the NBA

After LeBron James was the victim of an egregious no foul call last weekend, Charles Barkley is blasting all the talking heads on TV reacting like it was some sort of national security issue.

Last weekend, James was hacked by Jayson Tatum in the closing seconds of the Los Angeles Lakers game against the Boston Celtics. The refs missed the call, however, which cost the Lakers a chance at winning the game in overtime. It sent James into an over-the-top tantrum and provided fodder for the media to rant about the NBA’s officiating, just as it recently has with the NFL.

Thursday night on Inside the NBA, as Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith called out the refs for missing the call, Barkley stepped up as a spokesperson for the refs.

“I’m sitting here watching that game the other night and then I see all these other idiots and fools and jackasses on television complaining, like man, you act like that’s the first time a ref missed a call!” Barkley ranted. “They don’t try to miss the calls…come on man, stop it. Every ref has missed a call. Stop it. They didn’t try to miss the call.”

Barkley’s ref defense comes at a time when it’s clear the NBA and NFL both have issues of bad officiating. It’s also the second seemingly anti-player comment Barkley has made in the last week, having recently taken the side of ownership in the matter of load management. And it led to him making a politics comparison:

“I’m not sticking up for the refs. I didn’t think it was like a national security thing like they made it out to be. You sound like those fools in Washington D.C. worried about papers at Trump’s house, Biden’s house, and Pence’s house. Like these guys are gonna sell them to the Russians or something. Man, shut the hell up! President Biden and Vice President Pence and Trump are not going to try to sell nuclear secrets to somebody. Stop wasting our time, Congress!”

President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence were all found to have classified government documents in their possession. As the national security issue plays out, they’ve faced various levels of scrutiny over potentially mishandling those classified documents. But fear not, because according to Barkley, the media just needs to calm down over the egregious no-call on LeBron James, and they similarly need to relax over the potentially serious national security problem.

Last week, Barkley slammed voters for electing Donald Trump as president in 2016. That’s back-to-back weeks of political takes for Chuck. CNN, which is owned by TNT’s parent company Warner Bros. Discovery, has watched its ratings tank in recent years. Perhaps Barkley’s gearing up for a political show to help salvage the company’s news network.

[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