As a basketball analyst, 11-time NBA All-Star Charles Barkley is never afraid to speak his mind. That was again the case when Barkley shared his thoughts on the latest trend in the NBA.
Barkley bashed the league’s current trend of building super teams on the Unnecessary Roughness podcast. When asked about the way superstar players are joining up to create super teams, Barkley made it evident he would not have done that sort of thing during his playing career.
“I would rather not win than be on a super team,” Barkley said on the podcast. “It doesn’t matter what option you are. Sports are about competition. It’s about competition. Like, I admire Patrick Ewing for trying to bring a championship to New York. I admire Reggie Miller for trying to bring a championship [to Indiana]. I admire Michael Jordan for not leaving when they got beat by the Pistons every year. He didn’t pack up and say, ‘Let me play with Magic [Johnson] or [Larry] Bird.’
“There’s something to be said — When Dirk Nowitzki finally won the championship [with the Mavericks], he could be like, ‘Yes, I did this.’ It’s easy to get a bunch of superstars or really good players together and say, ‘Let’s build a super team.’”
The interviewer brought up Barkley’s time with the Houston Rockets. Before the 1996-1997 season, Barkley joined a Houston team that already had future Basketball Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler and later added Scottie Pippen to the roster. Barkley pointed out his tenure with the Rockets did not fall under the same category as joining a super team.
“We weren’t no good,” Barkley said. “First of all, I got traded. Scottie [Pippen] tried to join up, but I had nothing left in the tank. That’s about the same. We never thought about that in our prime. We weren’t any good in Houston.”
Barkley said he didn’t understand why a player would want to join a super team. He added that the top thing he wanted was loyalty from his city.
“We didn’t appreciate when LeBron went to Miami,” Barkley said. “We didn’t appreciate when Kevin [Durant] went to Golden State.”