Charles Barkley rarely holds back.
This week was no exception during an appearance on Zach Lowe’s “The Lowe Post” podcast. Barkley spoke candidly while rehashing some of the stories and controversies from his always-interesting NBA career.
He told Lowe that had he won a title teaming up Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler on the Houston Rockets, he wouldn’t have counted it in his record book.
‘That doesn’t count’
“I wouldn’t even have counted that as a championship,” Barkley said. “I’m not gonna lie. Me and Karl Malone. If he had won a championship with the Lakers, that doesn’t count. That doesn’t count.”
Barkley made the proclamation when Lowe pressed him about criticism of Kevin Durant teaming up with the Golden State Warriors team he couldn’t beat in the playoffs to win his NBA championships.
“I’m never gonna be happy with that,” Barkley said of Durant’s decision to leave Oklahoma City. “When I was going to demand to get traded, I didn’t say I wanted to play in Chicago, Boston or the Lakers. I just wanted to go to a team where I had a chance to compete.”
Barkley’s situation wasn’t the same as Durant’s
Barkley joining the Rockets, of course, was an entirely different situation than Durant’s. Barkley, Olajuwon and Drexler were all on the downside of their careers during Barkley’s tenure in Houston. As was Scottie Pippen when he joined in 1998. Durant joined an all-time juggernaut at the peak of its championship prowess while he was in his prime.
Had the Rockets advanced to the Finals and beat the Chicago Bulls after Barkley joined Houston via a trade in 1996 with the Phoenix Suns, it would have been significantly more impressive.
But they didn’t, and Barkley still doesn’t have a ring to count or discount.
Barkley also talked with Lowe about the time he broke a guy’s nose in a Milwaukee street fight after a 1991 game against the Bucks and how he played an NBA game drunk after learning his trade from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Los Angeles Lakers fell through.
He’s told those stories before. But even in reruns, Barkley’s almost always interesting.
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