One of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players, and now an analyst on Inside the NBA on TNT, Charles Barkley had a lot to say about the current state of the NBA today.
“The NBA is the worst it’s ever been,” Barkley stated, “We got one or two, three or four good teams, and the rest of the teams stink.”
After that, Chuck went on about how the NBA is “trying to relegate the big man out [of] the game.”
See the full video here:
Before everyone starts taking sides and complaining about how much the game has elevated or descended, let’s just remember that Charles Barkley hasn’t always been the sharpest tool in the shed.
Chuck has said and done a lot of humorous and questionable things in his time as an analyst for TNT.
Just a year ago in January 2016, Barkley said, “Kawhi Leonard is the best player in the world.”
Now, in no way is Leonard outside of the top 10 active players in the NBA discussion; But to even consider him better than LeBron James, Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant during their terrific seasons in 2016, is preposterous.
He’s a huge piece to the TNT team because of how entertaining he is. His opinions aren’t always the most factual nor knowledgable, but being a former player, Barkley isn’t completely asinine to his analysis on the game.
Another thing to note is how good the NBA actually is.
There aren’t 3 or 4 good teams, there are 3 or 4 great teams, with several good teams, that unfortunately don’t have the talent to beat these great teams. The rest of the teams don’t “stink,” they’re just as good or better than the average teams from previous decades.Chuck is in a way, making a contradiction of his NBA era with this statement. The way the NBA teams have been built, there are nearly 3-4 teams that are actual legit title contenders every season. Since 1984, only 10 different franchises have won an NBA title. So to say now that the “rest of the teams stink,” the competition in the league seems very identical to the competition from these past couple of decades.
Believe it or not, the NBA is more talented than it’s ever been!
With basketball being the 3rd most popular sport in the world (according to sporteology), there are more people playing everyday and all around the world than ever.
The number of international players in the league increases nearly every single season (113 active), so there are actually NBA scouts all around the world just looking for the best talent across several countries.
Younger players are getting exposed to more basketball than any generation and they’re training at a higher intensity level as well.
If the NBA is “the worst it’s ever been,” then we need to do some research and find some film on players in the modern day NBA playing defense as horrendous as this, against what would be mediocre ball handling skills today:
The NBA is nowhere near it’s “worst,” it’s actually at it’s best. One thing that Chuck was right about is the NBA’s lack of dominant big men in the league today. The NBA has always been a big man’s league, now everyone wants to shoot 3 point shots and be a guard. The NBA will continue to evolve and constantly set new trends to its broad audience.
Who knows, one day the big man could find dominance in the league again. There are tremendous upcoming and current young stars that are big men in the NBA today, including: Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns, DeMarcus Cousins and Joel Embiid. The NBA may need to work on it’s balance of talented guards and big men, but the NBA is the furthest thing from being “the worst it’s ever been.” The teams that “stink,” are already light years ahead of the teams that actually did stink from generations before this one.
A lesson we learn on a constant basis is that Charles Barkley will say a lot of ludicrous things on TNT, so let’s hope Chuck made a new years resolution this year to have more than “one or two, [or] three or four” good opinions on TNT, while the rest stink.