Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 at 10:20 am  |  73 responses

Charles Barkley: ‘I Cannot Believe How Bad the NBA is Right Now’

Charles Barkley, the most famous (and infamous) NBA analyst working today, doesn’t like what he’s seeing in this shortened season. From SRI (via ESPN Radio): “As a NBA fan I want to apologize to the fans, I cannot believe how bad the NBA is right now, I’m a fan first and foremost, watching the NBA right now I’m embarrassed about the product we’re putting out there right now. It’s no fun for me to watch these games, I feel bad for the fans. There are probably ten teams worth watching on a nightly basis. They have all these built in excuse about it’s the lockout. Let me tell you something if these teams played once a week they would still suck. You watch one of these teams and they rested for a week they would still suck. I don’t know man. I feel bad for the fans.”

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  • what

    There are 8 or 9 teams that are unimaginably bad and are bringing down the quality of play for everyone else. That doesn’t mean the other 20 or so teams are bad. As far as entertainment value the NBA has been great so far.

  • MLK4Life

    Blame small market owners. And David Stern. Old dude needs to walk out of his office and never return.

  • clutch

    The pistons suck bad. Its hard to even still support them right now. I hope they get first pick in the draft in june so they can get anthony davis because they need a spark and better defense and his popularity and size and skill would give them that. I feel ya charles

  • patrick

    Hm, I just don’t see what Barkley is talking about. The thought about the quality of play being awful, has not crossed my mind once. It is what it is, and I’ve thought it is good.

  • vtrobot

    As a C’s fan, I’m glad that the shortened schedule somehow has them playing the Raps every other game. Maybe it just seems like it. Oak is pissed that a soda doesn’t cost a nickel anymore either. Get over it, old man. I think it’s pretty interesting and there are several teams that are doing better than expected. Lots of older teams slowing down and young teams coming up. PHI, MIN, UTAH, CLIPS games are all fun to watch now and it hasn’t been that way for a long time.

  • Jesse

    im gay

  • fruizm

    @vtrobot…..whos “Oak”?

  • ab40

    players want to the game to take care of them instead of the other way around. That’s how you get compliant, these guys are mostly lazy. Look there are a lot of teams right now who play an ugly brand of basketball. And with ugly I mean lacking teamplay on O and on D. It’s sad.

  • Justin

    Definitely seen a significant decrease in quality of play this season.

    Prob doesn’t help I have Knicks season tickets – things are not pretty in the Garden…

  • http://tumblr.com arthurissupreme

    it’s a great league now. A lockout makes things more interesting (look at nfl). Charles Barkley is looking at the A from a ex players perspective and not a fans perspective. Breaking the lockout was for the fans right?

  • bobbyD

    Numbers are down across the board this season from last. So he has a point.

  • TC

    For Chuck to say it has nothing to do with the compressed season is just not true. Not much training camp, compressed season – you can’t expect players to play as well as usual when they are playing so much and having had to start playing competitive games so quickly. Clearly that has some effect. It’s silly to say otherwise.

  • AD

    Nets, Bobcats,detroit, and N.O are the only teams that suck … And even the nets, bobcats and hornets can be enjoyable sometimes… despite the records theres talent everywhere… charles must be forgetting about the injuries to these teams. the nets and hornets would be alot better if their team was healthy.

  • Jazz Man

    I Agree With Charles To A Point. Look The League Has Been Watered Down Since The Early 2000′s. Players Are Being Drafted On Potential And MOST Don’t Have Fundamentals. I Have The Pleasure Of Getting To Chop It Up With A NBA Trainer And He Tells Me All The Time 90% Of The Guys In The League Don’t Know The Game…Its Not Like Back In The Day When 1-12 Were Fundamentally Sound.

  • Pais

    Don’t buy into this crap. Did any of you guys ever really think this prior to Barkley saying it, be honest now? It’s the same as it ever was. Some slight negative side effects which were to be expected resulting from the lockout (and that’s not an excuse, it’s rational reason). And as someone else pointed out we’re witnessing a changing of the guard, with some teams who have enjoyed years of success having difficulty adjusting (looking at you Detroit). Some franchises do a better job than others (hey there Utah).

    ‘Well, daddy, don’t you know that things go in cycles, Way that Bobby Brown is just ampin’ like Michael’…Tribe

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Charles Barkely rarely does enough research to have such strong opinions.
    Yeah, there have been some ugly games, but there have been some great games too. There are some horrible teams, but there are also a lot of very dangerous and good teams. I have no complaints right now, particularly since a crapload of games are on national television.

  • bike

    It might help if Charles would get into specifics since I really don’t see it
    No question some teams are a tad rusty but the lockout and short season are bound to have an effect.
    And if Charles is so worried about the fans and the nba product, he isn’t doing the league any favors by trashing it without explaination.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    I cannot believe how bad Charles Barkley looked towards the end of his playing career.
    I feel bad for (his) fans.

  • LA Huey

    Charles is an “analyst” so I guess he needs to watch every game. I’m just a fan with other things going on in my life. The fact that there are only “ten teams worth watching on a nightly basis” is plenty for me. And honestly, if you’re watching more than 3 games a night and not trying to make it as a blogger, you could use another hobby.

  • Edball

    Has anyone watched a raptors game? TERRIBLE….just a terrible team. I’m a Toronto fan, but they suck so bad and their future doesn’t look good either…I wanna cry just thinking about them

  • Edball

    Raptors are a horrible nba product

  • robb

    I’ve watched a lot of good games this season. Probably Charles doesn’t really watch them, maybe he just turns the TV on while he eats which is his priority.

  • http://www.borntocompete.com Money$hot

    I know that the turn overs have went way up in this shortened season but, that has lead to great highlights. Sloppy play, great highlights.

  • http://dsfjklf.com Jukai

    Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    I’m with Allenp. Seems like between NBA TV, ESPN, TNT and my local team, there are always at least 2 NBA games on every night. No complaints at all from me.

  • ctk

    the NBA has ALWAYS had bad teams at the bottom ..nothing has change 4or5 teams can win the ring ..3-4darkhorses …4teams who can scare u for a rd…nothing has change since the 90s

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    ^exactly. No need for League Pass at all, particularly since NBA TV switches to the close games at the end. It’s awesome.

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    I’m loving it. I guess from his perspective he can’t handle the changing of the guard. There might be a lot of new teams going into the post season. Knowing him he’s probably loosing a lot of dough betting on the wrong teams.

  • hillbilly

    You’re out of your element, Jukai.

  • http://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=pawtucketymca Gametimeweezy

    I beg to differ. Chuck is right on the mark, There are about 10 teams playing quality basketball. Many teams have taken a step back. Break down each divisions top 2 teams.
    OKC is by far the best team in the conference. But Denver, although I do love George Karl, this team in years past would not have the 3rd best winning pct. in the WEST.
    Mavs are leading their division and they really are not too exciting. Marion is arguably playing the best on that team, without Jason Terry they’d be done. Spurs are playing lackluster to say the least.
    Clippers are playing great right now, no complaint there, except they are the Clippers. And they lead the division over the Lakers, who at 13-9… not too impressive.
    Throw in Portland, Utah and Houston… the West sucks this year.
    The East isn’t much better.
    Philly at 16-6 is a revival. Props to Doug Collins for stepping up as a possible coach of the year. Celtics at 11-10 is actually stronger than their record suggests, and Rondo is coming back. Doc Rivers is holding that team together. Nice blend of Veterans and Youth. But still they are 11-10… meh.
    Chicago is strong. Nuff said. Indy? Not knocking them because they are okay with Hibbert and Granger, but come one, they are at best a decent 5-seed.
    Atlanta and Miami are tied in their division. I think that says more about Miami not running away with the division than the Hawks actually being a contender on Miami’s level. Not that impressive. Throw in the Magic and Knicks (they will get in over the Bucks) and who on that list is a great team? I’d say none. POSSIBLY the Bulls and Heat, but I don’t think they are great.
    Barkley’s right.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Dutch Rich for the win…

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I disagree. But that’s okay.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Shout out to George Karl looking like John Lithgow.

  • LA Huey

    Although it results in a lot of games where they mail it in, the one positive of this compressed season is that I get to see my team play just about every other night.

  • steve

    Thunder clippers bulls heat are all that matter with atlanta and philly on the side. But I am way happier with that then seeing the celtics and lakers play each other. Its a cliche to like either of those teams

  • http://bedotwater.bandcamp.com BE.water

    the west sucks this year? what are you smoking?

  • Kent

    Charles barkley always says this every since he retired. He has failed to realize that there are always bad teams in the NBA. Aint nothing changed. in the 80s celtcs and Lakers went to the Finals 8 out of 10 games. You tell me there wasnt bad teams back then. Give me a break. just because Celtcs and Lakers were great team, doesnt mean the overall NBA was great. I dont wanna hear dat BullS&%t. NBA is as entertaining or more then it every has been. Period. In 90s it was just Jordan, in 80s it was just LAL and Bos. Now its CP3, DROse, LeBron, Dwade, Kobe, Durant Nash, Nowitzki, Griffin, Rubio, Love, Irving, Melo, Stoudemire, etc. talent across the board.

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    I might be the only one who thinks the title is hilarious…. but whatever.

  • http://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=pawtucketymca Gametimeweezy

    That’s what I said. Is that all you have to say? What teams impress you? What kind of water you drinkin?

  • LP

    A few guys are out of shape. There was that LOCKOUT THINK. Thats it. SHutup Barkley…even if they were in shape, these teams NEVER get to practice, and had a very short “training camp”…Give them a break…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I find the NBA to be a lot weaker at the top then it has been in a while. The Heat and Bulls are the only team(s) in the league I could see winning a title in a prior season, for example.

  • burnt_chicken

    that’s not Jukai, hillbilly. That there is The Dude.

  • rhyzy

    raptors are a .500 team when healthy with andrea

  • Brion

    I agree with the fact that there is alot more parody in the NBA these days,compared with the 90′s where every year you knew it was going to be the Bulls or Lakers winning it all.

  • davidR

    ^ i think you mean parity, haha.
    i think all the roster changes around the league + a lack of a training camp to mesh together as a team plays more of a factor than the scheduling

  • reidz


    One guy who (always) has done research before commenting agrees with Chuck

  • L

    Charlotte, Detroit, Washington, Toronto, New Jersey, New York, Milwaukee, Cleveland, New Orleans, Sacramento, Golden State, Phoenix. There are some ugly teams out there, some nights league pass is painful.Chuck is right!! L

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Nobody should have paid for league-pass this season. It’s like highway robbery. 10% off of a full season price, for a shorter season, in which the quality of basketball is lower, and more games are running simultaneously. Meaning, less to actually watch.

  • shutup

    There are just too many teams, the league is over saturated with mediocre talent. I think Chuck is right on the money, and to counterpoint AllenP’s argument I’m pretty sure Chuck takes his job as an analyst seriously, and unless your watching every nba game every night which I by no means am, I believe he has too for his job, I can just say watching LA vs the Bobcats the other night was painful, I think for a stretch the bobcats went 10 ugly possessions without a bucket on ugly jumpshots and turnovers and LA wasnt playing good by any means either. There are a plethora of crappy games on every night and just because you can always find an alternative to watch instead doesnt mean that the bad games are constantly going on.

  • shutup


  • Brion

    *parity, thanks david

  • bike

    I have often wondered if talent and or good team play follows a bell curve in the nba. If it does, then Charles may be partly correct by saying there are only 10 teams playing well although there is a big difference between playing well an worth watching.
    On the other hand, I worry about myself wondering about this kind of sh*t sometimes.

  • RedRum

    he is so right. Parity unfortunately is the greatest problem with the NBA, it has always been . We all enjoy these Dynasty teams, but when a league becomes predictable then fans loose their interest. Look at the NFL. One of the leagues with the most parity, which is why it is so interesting, even for me who am I not from the US and do not play the game (sorry, I refuse to call it Football…). But every year there a surprise. One can put it down to their playoff format, one game and you are out. But I cannot see why wouldn’t the NBA do something similar. This long playoff format they are using is not being implemented in any other sport. Sure, it assures that 9 times out 10 the best team will win, but where is the excitement? Almost all professional sports around the world in every sport use a final 4 format. See how exciting the Olympics and the World Championships are with that format. I think the NBA needs a new commissioner, a young smart guy with fresh ideas that will shake things up and find ways to ensure parity in the league. Not easy, but can be done.

  • anynomous

    Chuck is right about this. He`s not talking about the quantity of games on every, he`

  • anynomous

    “every night, ‘he`s’ talking about the quality of the games which is horrible. I show as he** aint spending any money on league pass or buying a ticket to watch any live games. I may as well throw my money down the garbage disposal because the nba is not worth the time or the money right now.”

  • anynomous

    @arthurissupreme No way, No how you can compare the nba to the NFL because the NFL is on another level. The only thing that the NFL and the nba have in common are their recent lockouts. Yet the NFL managed to start on time by cutting training camp. For NFL players contact-to-contact camps are the only way to prepare them for the physical nature of the regular season and playoffs. What does the nba have to complain about? They had an extended lockout that resulted in no major improvements. They did it to themselves. Stop using the lockout as an excuse for the continuous pist-poor play of the majority of the league.

  • http://anyoldthing Ugh

    I think there’s consensus that fundamentals and defence are lower now than twenty years ago, when Chuck was in his prime. There were three teams in the ’92 season who made the playoffs with a sub-.500 record and four teams with a sub-.300 record.
    How is the quality of games on a nightly basis going to be better than that during a compressed season (shooting is down something like 15% on average) with a decreased talent pool (three more teams in the league) with worse fundamentals and poorer defence?

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    Charlotte Bobcats basketball = LOL



  • http://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=pawtucketymca Gametimeweezy

    Perhaps it’s not as bad as the title caption makes it sound… but why are the Clippers on again for the 3rd time this week? Maybe due to shortage of teams that will garner ratings?

  • https://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    “This long playoff format they are using is not being implemented in any other sport.” Please see: MLB, NHL.

  • jepic

    Common fans don’t see it but true basketball people see what it is. The game is a bunch of fake fouls and flops. The league changed the rules after the pistons spurs final and ever since it has been terrible. Free throws per team were around 15 to 20 each and now its 30 in some games. They have a lot of control now. Now you need a star to get calls and also to not get garbage calls called against you. Its entertainment and fake. College, high school, european….they’re all different than the nba. They’re all much more physical. Anyone see the numbers the point guards put up now? Jarrett jack 16 and 7? Kyle lowry 16 8 and 7?

  • shutup

    on another note I guess Carmelo is the best pf in the league lmfao (if you go by all-star selection)

  • Justin G.

    Thank you LA Huey, I’m glad someone managed to point that out. Making it a one and done would make the regular season absolutely worthless as well. You’re going to play 82 games, win 63 of them and lose to a team because a couple guys had an off night? That’s ridiculous, not to mention all of the revenue to each team and city that would be lost for an idea like that one. And the games are painful to watch at times. Fundamentals aren’t what they were, maybe attributed to the fact these guys don’t finish college. It’s not just their physical understanding of the game a guy loses when he leaves college, it’s his mental understanding as well. But, millions are to be made and at the end of the day it’s hard to blame guys for leaving early.
    Injuries are playing a roll as well. San Antonio would no doubt have a better record with Ginobli in the lineup and the Raptors would definitely have a better record with Bargnani not hurt.

  • http://www.slamonline.com killa red

    contraction anyone?

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    wait gametimeweezy were you talking to me?

  • http://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=pawtucketymca Gametimeweezy

    nah I was just kinda throwing it out there but my 1:22pm comment was a reply to BE.water’s profoundly elaborate comment

  • sinjun

    which ever team wins the nba title this season is not going to get respect cus people will be saying excuses about how short the season was & bs like that.

  • http://moontain.org Fredd

    this is what they said for the 99 spurs

  • howie72

    Chuck is right on. Dont want to offend the fans of these teams but honesty does hurt.

    My nomination and a lot does agree with what Chuck mentioned:

    Detroit, NO, RAPTORS, Charlotte, Kings, washington, Nets, Suns

    These are just BAD teams and it is no fun watching them at all.

  • NR

    I realize that the lakers had to adjust to a new coach, new system, new players and MWP but “Geeze”, the season is about halfways over and Mitch is thinking about making more late changes to make the team better, he must be running a weed shop on the side, it’ll take the Lakers another 30+ games to adjust to new coach, new system, new players and MWP, I think the first changes should have been Mitch and Jim Buss, then do the 2nd half changess first instead of last !!!!


    Hey Chuck? One of the reasons the NBA is so bad right now, is because someone like you actually gets paid by them to say things like that. Shut up, go away, and fix that awful golf game of yours already.

  • Manuel

    Chuck is right ERNIED. NBA East is a joke. The west is not that strong, besides the Thunder and Blazers other teams have major weaknesses. My Spurs have no real backup Pg and SF. Tim and Manu have lost 2 steps this season. Rockets D. Howard is…well an Idiot and Harden Defense is horrible. he’s like a kitten and always looks at the ball on the D and always has his man score on him thru the cut to basket. Warriors lost Jack who ran the pick n roll very well for them off the bench to get players baskets. Igy is an overrated name. Mavs are mediocre. Clippers are soft besides CP3 so yea Charles was right ERNIED was wrong.