Charles Barkley Reveals Why He Doesn’t Support Coronavirus NBA Fan Ban

HOUSTON, TEXAS - APRIL 04: Former NBA player and commentator Charles Barkley looks on prior to the 2016 NCAA Men's Final Four National Championship game between the Villanova Wildcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels at NRG Stadium on April 4, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Naismith Hall of Famer and TNT analyst, Charles Barkley has been quoteworthy the last few days.

He’s gone toe-to-to with the Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green who believes that he could take Barkley’s job on TNT. “My job is safe,” he told the Dan Patrick Show.

“Draymond Green is a nice guy. You know what he is? He’s like the guy in the boy band who’s the least important member. He doesn’t realize he’s standing next to Justin Timberlake. He’s the least famous person in the boy band, and he thinks he’s a star. And he’s not. He’s lucky to be in the boy band. He thinks all the girls are screaming for him. No, they’re screaming for Justin Timberlake. Enjoy being in the band because you’re never gonna have any hit singles … I like messing with him.”

On Tuesday, Barkley told me that Ja Morant was the NBA’s Rookie of the Year and not Zion Williamson. “Ja Morant is the run away Rookie of the Year,” Barkley told me Tuesday morning.

“Love me some Zion, but if he’s able to get Memphis to the NBA Playoffs with the number eight seed; if he’s able to get those kids to the Playoffs, it will be one of the great stories. But like I said, I hope the NBA does not screw him out of the Rookie of the Year, we all love Zion, but he’s only probably going to play 35 games the rest of the season. But what Ja Morant has done this year for the Memphis Grizzlies, I hope they reward him with the Rookie of the Year. That’s my opinion.”

Barkley is also the voice of reason on the coronavirus. “What concerns me about no fans at sporting events,they still have to go to work,” he said while on the NCAA’s March Madness conference call on Tuesday.

“They still have to be walking around in the world. They don’t go to a sports venue, but they still have to live their lives.”

Appearing on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Tuesday night, Barkley doubled down on that assessment. “Unfortunately some people have passed away and some people are sick but you can’t stop living your life,” said Barkley.

The National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball have all temporarily limited locker room access to players and essential staff.

A step further: The NBA is considering crowdless games, due to the virus. That’s where Barkley draws the line. “I’m like, okay, if they don’t come to games, are they not going to live their lives,” said Barkley.

“Are they not going to go to work? Are they not going to go out and have dinner and things like that?” asked Barkley. “Just not coming to a basketball game, I don’t think that’s going to solve all the issues.”

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