Charles Barkley Ripped The Lakers For Letting Anthony Davis Play In Game 6

Anthony Davis played the first 5:25 of Game 6 against the Phoenix Suns before he had to exit the game with the groin strain that kept him out of Game 5. Davis was clearly not moving well and in pain, and after trying to grit through it to help his team in a win or go home situation, he had to exit for the locker room where he got his leg wrapped and, eventually, the Lakers ruled him out for good.

At halftime, the Lakers trailed the Suns by 21, as Devin Booker lit them up for 33 points in the first half, but much of the conversation on the Inside the NBA halftime show was about the decision to let Davis play. Charles Barkley took issue with them letting him give it a go when he clearly wasn’t moving right, something that should’ve been noticeable in warmups as well.

“Well first of all, the doctors who let him go out like that, they need to have a serious talk with him. He looked bad from the beginning — he never even got past the top of the key except that one time. I can’t believe they let this kid warm up and go out there like that. This is ridiculous, man. Seriously.”

Later, Kenny Smith and Barkley discussed the situation further, taking issue with the notion that Davis couldn’t injure himself further by being out there.

“I agree with Chuck, he should’ve never even played,” Smith said. “If you watch a guy in the first two minutes, both Chuck and I were like ‘what’s he doing out there?’ You don’t have to be a doctor to see that he shouldn’t be out there.”

“I’m really pissed about that,” Barkley added. “And then Kenny had a point, they said ‘you can’t make it any worse.’ Yes you can. Yes you can. Any time you got something wrong with your leg you’re going to hurt another part of your body. They said the doctors cleared him to play? They’re going to need some better doctors.”

Barkley still was in disbelief after the game, and also expounded on his concerns with Davis being injured as often as he is at such a young age.

It’s a point many, including Grant Hill on the game broadcast, made but given Barkley’s jab at Davis from Game 5 where he said his nickname should be “Street Clothes” because of all the games he missed, his critique of the Lakers training staff just made people more upset with him. Many called out Barkley for being part of the reason Davis may have felt pressure to try playing without being 100 percent, including Kendrick Perkins who lit into Chuck on Twitter.

It’s a fair point to make, although Barkley’s commentary should not come into play for the Lakers training staff in clearing Davis. Barkley making light of Davis’ injury issues and then ripping the Lakers for letting him try to play does seem odd. Still, his most recent point is right and the Lakers seem to have erred in putting Davis in the lineup when he clearly wasn’t right.