Lately, Charles Barkley’s ire for discussing the Los Angeles Lakers has always been evident during his appearances on “Inside the NBA.” Last year, the Lakers won 33 games. This year, they’re 11-15, 12th in the West and 2.5 games behind the No. 8 Dallas Mavericks. They’ve not been a good team over the past year and change. They also happen to be playing the Boston Celtics on the second half of TNT’s doubleheader, much to Barkley’s dismay.
"It just makes me sick. I don't know who's worse: us or the clowns on other networks… we must get a bonus every time we talk about the Lakers. The Lakers stink."- Charles Barkley 🏀😂 pic.twitter.com/pWLRZIZ82I
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) December 14, 2022
Earlier this season, Barkley said every Lakers game on TNT should be replaced by the Sacramento Kings, a fun, high-powered offensive team vying for a top-four seed out West. Regardless of whether he still holds that specific sentiment, he made clear his unwillingness or preference to avoid discussing the Lakers prior to tipoff Tuesday. As the rest of the panel talked about Los Angeles, Barkley continually sighed. When Kenny Smith said he believes the Lakers will make the playoffs, Barkley gave him the stink eye before vocalizing his grievances.
“It just makes me sick. I don’t know who’s worse: us or the clowns on other networks, who, we feel like — we must get a bonus every time we talk about the Lakers,” Barkley said. “The Lakers stink.”
As Smith tried to contextualize their record and noted they indeed roster arguably the greatest NBA player ever in LeBron James, Barkley repeatedly offered a simple refrain: “They’re still 11-15.”
Shaquille O’Neal chimed in by saying they’re only two games out of eighth. Barkley wanted no part of that, countering with the fact they don’t talk about other teams in close pursuit of the No. 8 seed. Ernie Johnson, the everpresent moderator that he is, proposed a change of subject. The Lakers surely have many more games on TNT over the final four months of the regular season, so we’ll surely witness more demonstrations from Barkley if Los Angeles can’t crack the top eight.