Former NBA great and current TNT basketball analyst, Charles Barkley, has opened his mouth once again, calling the Chicago Bulls “the stupidest organization in the NBA.” This is just the most recent outburst from Barkley directed at teams, players and fans. Barkley feels that the lack of action by the Bulls regarding the ongoing interest from other teams towards their head coach Tom Thibodeau is stupid.
Barkley does not understand why the Bulls will not just pay Thibodeau a bunch of money to ensure he stays with the team. Sir Charles regards the coach as one of the best in the league and that the Bulls are lucky to have him. The NBA great is in disbelief that the Bulls seem to be oblivious that other teams are interested in luring Thibodeau away to take over one of many vacant coaching jobs. Both the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Lakers have expressed interest in Chicago’s head man and are expected to ask for permission from the Bulls to interview Thibodeau soon.
Thibodeau and the Bulls organization do not have the best relationship. This could explain why the team is not jumping to stop other franchises from approaching the coach. Thibodeau is considered by may NBA analysts, Barkley included, to be the best thing to happen to Chicago since Michael Jordan. Thibodeau was named the 2010-2011 NBA Coach of the Year and has led the Bulls to the play-offs four years straight. His accomplishment of that over the last two seasons without superstar Derrick Rose is part of Barkley’s outrage that the team is not making any attempt to protect their coach. Rose played in only 10 games the last two seasons due to knee injuries. Pulling the team together for play-off runs without Rose speaks Thibodeau and the Bulls front office have clashed over numerous things, including trades and the firing of one of the coach’s assistants.
However, Barkley calling the Bulls stupid is just a start. The TNT analyst spoke to ESPN recently and called Miami fans not real fans. That was over Barkley’s desire that LeBron James would return to Cleveland, where the fans are real fans. Barkley also lashed out against the fans in San Antonio. After Barkley had made some off-color comments regarding women in San Antonio, he has faced criticism from numerous groups and fans of the Spurs, including Tim Duncan’s girlfriend. Barkley faced heckling from Spurs fans following San Antonio’s win over the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday. The fans heckling took place during an interview with Danny Green and Barkley did not hold back. Barkley refuses to apologize stating that all of it is a joke.
NBA teams and fans are not the only target for Barkley. In the past, Sir Charles has gone after his employer and co-hosts. During the Thunder’s first run in the play-offs, TNT splashed play-off histories of the teams. When the Oklahoma City’s stats showed a 7-2 home play-off record for the Thunder against the Denver Nuggets, Barkley lost his temper over the graphic and fellow TNT co-host Matt Winer. Barkley was insistent that the Thunder did not have a play-off history and firmly believed those stats belonged to the Seattle Sonics.
Charles Barkley was always a colorful character during the forward’s playing days and that has continued through the years as an analyst. Barkley calling the Chicago Bulls stupid is not something that should surprise anyone. The former NBA forward has never been afraid to speak his mind. Like him or not, one should expect more colorful comments from the Round Mound of Rebound in the future.
Commentary by Carl Auer