Charles Barkley

It’s not uncommon for Inside the NBA analyst Charles Barkley to express his displeasure with the current state of the NBA.

Barkley has been very vocal about his opposition to current NBA players sitting out games during the season due to load management. He’s also vocalized how he feels about the modern game and his disdain for players who “jack up shots.”

Tuesday night, he made his feelings crystal clear once more.

“Watching the NBA today, man, these guys just drive me crazy,” Barkley said during halftime of the NBA In-Season Tournament Quarterfinals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns. “He had to get the offense rebound. You watch these games; these guys jack up shots…Do y’all know that Eric Gordon is trying to guard Anthony Davis? And you just jack up a three. Now, thank goodness Anthony Davis got the offensive rebound, but these guys never…because the way they play defense in the NBA, everybody switches; there’s mismatches all over the place.”

Barkley particularly lamented a sequence in Tuesday’s game, which saw Anthony Davis (6-foot-10) being guarded by Eric Gordon (6-foot-4) and seemingly unable to take advantage of the six-inch height advantage. Instead, he jacked up a shot. While Davis could retain his offensive rebound, it further proved Barkley’s point that taking advantage of mismatches appeared to be a lost art in today’s game.

If you want to accuse Sir Charles of being an old man yelling at a cloud, that’s your prerogative. Perhaps his thoughts on load management, in which he previously called out NBA players by comparing their issues to the plights of steelworkers, are more in line with that thinking.

“It ain’t like we’re working in the steel mill, brother,” Barkley said in February. “I mean, there are people working the steel mill every day. I’m pretty sure they’re tired too. But they go to work every day, so yeah, I think load management is a big deal.”

But in Barkley’s eyes, taking advantage of a mismatch shouldn’t be as difficult as working in a steel mill. And watching today’s NBA seems as enjoyable for the 60-year-old Barkley as a root canal.

Time and time again, Barkley has provided his unfiltered candor on the state of the game. Whenever Barkley opens his mouth on the NBA’s premiere studio show, it reminds us of the “What happened to the game I love?” meme.

Barkley doesn’t hesitate to express his displeasure with the current NBA landscape. His growing frustration becomes more and more evident every time we see him in studio. And while some may view him as a relic of the past, his impassioned plea for more intelligent basketball paints him as a champion of old-school fundamentals.

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.