HoopsHype Charles Barkley rumors

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February 11, 2015 Updates

"They say that same crap in baseball, and they put these little lightweight teams together and they never win," Barkley said. "They're always competitive to a certain degree and they don't win. It's the same thing in the NBA." ESPN.com

"The Rockets sucked for a long time, so they went out and paid James Harden a lot of money; they got better," Barkley said on the TNT postgame broadcast. "Then they went out and got Dwight Howard; they got better. ... "The NBA is about talent," Barkley continued. "All these guys who run these organizations who talk about analytics, they have one thing in common -- they're a bunch of guys who have never played the game, and they never got the girls in high school, and they just want to get in the game." ESPN.com

January 24, 2015 Updates

Barkley recently made an appearance on The Beast 980 and the topic of Kobe Bryant and the Lakers struggling came up. The former NBA MVP believes the Lakers really mismanaged how they handled Kobe and thinks the team’s game plan really didn’t make sense: I think the Lakers should have come in with a game plan. “Listen, we’re not going to be any good. Let’s try to get some young players and see who we got going forward. Kobe, you’re kind of a mentor. You’re going to play 25-30 minutes a night. At some point this season, you’re going to pass Michael Jordan. There’s no need to play you 38 minutes. We’re not going to be better. We’re not going to make the playoffs.” They should have had that gameplan from the beginning. In the beginning, he was playing 40 minutes in a couple games, which is just stupid. Lakers Nation

January 22, 2015 Updates
January 19, 2015 Updates

If Charles Barkley is serious about leaving sports broadcasting when his current contract with Turner Sports expires in 2016 (the prediction in this space is that he will ultimately end up extending his stay with Turner) the network needs to think about a succession plan. The truth is no one can replace Barkley, the most impactful and valuable studio analyst on sports television today. But there is a name out there who could have a Barkley-like impact on an NBA studio show or remote broadcast if he has interest in broadcasting as a post-NBA career. His name is Kobe Bryant. Sports Illustrated

"If he chose to do it he'd be incredible," said ESPN Los Angeles senior writer Ramona Shelburne, who has covered the Lakers since 2003. "He's sarcastic, smart, insightful, fearless. Think the player version of Jeff Van Gundy. I'm not sure he's fun enough for the typical NBA pre and postgame show. The guys that thrive there are the ones who always sat around in a locker room after a game, BS-ing with other players and reporters or coaches. I've seen Kobe do that from time to time, but only when he's soaking his feet in an ice bucket. The rest of the time, he's all business … He is singularly focused on basketball." Sports Illustrated

ESPN NBA host Sage Steele sees the fit. "He's got the resume, the look, he's got the ability to properly articulate his thoughts, and so much more," Steele said. "But most of all, he isn't afraid to give his opinion. So many broadcasters in every sport have awesome insight and strong opinions but once that red light turns on, they are too worried about what their peers who are still in the game will think if they hear it. Will Kobe want to work hard enough to be a genuinely good television analyst? It isn't easy. It takes a lot of hard work to stay up on every aspect of the game. So could he be great? Absolutely." Sports Illustrated

Bryant has not discussed any post-career plans publicly and on Sunday he declined comment to SI for this piece via a Lakers spokesperson. But those close to him say he is far more likely to head into business rather than broadcasting or the business of basketball. Sports Illustrated

"[ESPN colleague] J.A. Adande and I were just talking about this the other day. It used to be you had to try to pull Kobe aside after a game to get great quotes or his best insights. He'd grant the 'walk-off' interviews to the reporters he had a relationship with and trusted -- Bill Plashcke, JA, me, Adrian Wojnarowski, Sam Amick, Ken Berger, Howard Beck. But a few years ago, he just started saying everything in front of everybody. He didn't save the best stuff for the walk-off anymore. He just said it in the general press conference with all the cameras. I think this shift happened about the same time he joined Facebook and Twitter and instantly became one of the most interesting athletes to follow." Sports Illustrated

December 20, 2014 Updates
December 19, 2014 Updates
December 10, 2014 Updates

Speaking up in the Barkley family didn't start with Charles. But he's doing a fine job of carrying on the tradition. "The only people who distrust the cops are crooks," Barkley told USA TODAY Sports during a recent interview. "They're not out there just harassing innocent people. "Maybe sometimes they do. But there's no inherent situation where cops are deliberately out there harassing people." USA Today Sports

April Shelton, who attended Leeds with Barkley's younger brother, took to Facebook and called Charles Barkley "an embarrassment." She took exception to his branding people who rioted and looted in Ferguson "scumbags." "These people are hurting, and I don't understand why he can't see the hurt within the community in which they live," she told USA TODAY Sports. "From what we went through in Leeds, Alabama, he should known better. He should know the struggle we went through." USA Today Sports

Dismissing the notion his views are conservative, Barkley said he always votes Democratic, is pro-choice and supports same-sex marriage, a position that he noted puts him at odds with fellow Southerners, both African Americans and white. "That's one of the problems with this country, they put you in a box," said Barkley, who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz. "You're a Republican, you're a Democrat, you're conservative, you're liberal. And that's really unfair." USA Today Sports

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