Charles Barkley is beefing with Kevin Durant again, but that won’t stop the Phoenix Suns legend from talking about his former club.
During an interview with Bickley & Marotta on Arizona Sports, Barkley talked about how far he thinks the Suns can go in the 2023 playoffs.
“I wouldn’t pick (the Suns) to beat the Nuggets (in a 1-4 matchup) to be honest with you, but like I say, I don’t know Kevin’s situation,” Barkley said. “They gonna beat the Clippers without Paul George. You asked me about Kevin coming back, Paul’s probably not coming back until the playoffs.”
The Suns improved to 40-35 after beating the Utah Jazz on March 27. They are in fourth place in the Western Conference standings. Phoenix has seven games left in the regular season, starting on March 29 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“I’m probably going to pick the Nuggets and Bucks (to make the Finals),” Barkley said. “I’m going to write it down in pencil. I’m not going to write it down in permanent ink … you got zero idea who’s going to be playing who.”
Charles Barkley Continues to Bash Kevin Durant
Barkley called Durant “very sensitive” during an interview with CBS over the weekend, which prompted Durant to fire back at the Hall of Famer on Twitter. As expected, Barkley doesn’t care how Durant reacts.
“He is sensitive,” Barkley told Bickley & Marotta. “It’s weird. I said it for three or four years now, I’m not sure why he reacted to it again. I don’t care where it goes. He’s a great, great player. I think he’s a good guy, too. He is sensitive and I’m not worried about it. I don’t even think about it.”
Barkley, who won the 1992-93 MVP with the Suns, told Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on “All The Smoke” back in February that Durant has to win a ring without the Golden State Warriors to “get the old heads’ respect.” Durant joined the Warriors in the summer of 2016 after Golden State won an NBA record 73 games in 2015-16.
“KD is a great, great player. He is a great, great player.” Barkley said about Durant. “He’s sensitive, 100% sensitive. But what I said and I’ll stick by it: KD is a great, great player, but he’s going to have to win a championship without the Warriors to get the old heads’ respect.”
Charles Barkley Talks About the Problem With MVP Voting
Barkley believes the discussion about the NBA’s best player versus the player having the best regular season gets obscured.
“Let’s get one thing straight: (Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo) is the best player,” Barkley said. “Michael Jordan was the best player in the NBA probably four years before he won MVP. His team wasn’t doing good. Same thing with Kobe Bryant. Nobody thinks Steve Nash was better than Kobe Bryant or Shaquille O’Neal, but those two years (2004-05, 2005-06) in Phoenix, they had the best record and he had the best regular season. Shaq hates that and he gets mad and I said, ‘Dude, the Suns had the best record. Steve Nash was great.'”
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic lead the MVP race this season.