VIDEO: Charles Barkley flames LeBron James, Lakers as fake title favorites
The Los Angeles Lakers are still the defending NBA champions, but they sure didn’t look like it on Sunday night.
LeBron James and his Lakers side fell to the Phoenix Suns in a grimy contest that involved multiple altercations. In a battle of physicality and size, the Suns surprisingly came out on top despite being the smaller side against a team full of physically imposing figures.
But unsurprisingly, Charles Barkley immediately flamed the Lakers right after the game, quickly dismissing them as the championship favorites that many still considered them to be before Game 1 against the Suns.
Chuck on the Lakers: "Nobody is afraid of them.”
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 24, 2021
But for as great as Charles Barkley was as a player, he hasn’t exactly been Nostradamus with his bold predictions in the recent past. Just last week, he straight up guaranteed that the Charlotte Hornets would come out of the play-in tournament’s bottom bracket against the Indiana Pacers. They ended up getting blown out with a final score of 117-144.
Chuck broke out the "GUARANTEE!" button for his Hornets-Pacers pick 🚨👀 pic.twitter.com/hQE9u0Pz6P
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 18, 2021
LeBron James and Anthony Davis have their work cut out for Los Angeles to come back in this series. Chris Paul’s veteran savvy has definitely rubbed off on the Suns’ core stars Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, as the two outshined their Lakers counterparts all throughout the match.
But LeBron James is no stranger to adversity in the postseason. The Lakers star has held an unblemished record in first-round matchups, and also figures as one of the best comeback artists when trailing in a postseason series.
James was asked by reporters about his rather testy entanglements with Chris Paul throughout Game 1. Concerns were also raised regarding how truly healthy he actually is. There were even questions about his COVID-19 violations before their play-in game against the Golden State Warriors. But the Lakers star just game the same canned response to everything:
“I’ll be ready to go for Game 2.”