Video: Charles Barkley barks back at Kyrie Irving, Dwight Howard about return-to-season approach
TNT analyst Charles Barkley responded to concerns from players like Kyrie Irving and Dwight Howard that could quell the slated resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season.
The charismatic “Inside The NBA” panelist noted on Monday’s edition of ESPN’s “Get Up” that it would be a “catastrophic” mistake to keep the season from resuming, as it could have a bevy of financial implications that would affect not just them, but many other NBA players:
“I think it would be stupid to not play,” said Barkley. “For two reasons: No. 1, if they don’t play, they’re going to be out of sight, out of mind for the rest of the year. There won’t be any cameras following.
“LeBron is probably the most famous athlete in the United States. He won’t be visible anywhere. So out of sight, out of mind. Also, these guys have got to realize this money ain’t gonna come back and they’re gonna lose billions of dollars that the players can use to go into their own communities and do some great stuff.”
"I have no idea what Kyrie and Dwight are talking about, but it’d be a catastrophic mistake not to play."
—Charles Barkley pic.twitter.com/Wh7Fp8dXKo
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) June 15, 2020
The NBA legend also argues that Irving and Howard’s sentiment is nonsensical, as it does little to further their motives and neutralizes their aspirations to promote change as part of the Black Lives Matter movement. As always, Chuck shoots straight from the hip:
“It’s not good on any front,” said Barkley. “I have no idea what Kyrie and Dwight are talking about, but it’d be a catastrophic mistake not to play.”
Irving had voiced he was worried about the optics of nearly 300 players being sequestered in Orlando for the sake of salvaging revenue and entertaining the masses amid a social justice revolution. Yet Barkley is looking at matters from a big picture lens, noting their future as NBA players and even possibly influential figures can be in jeopardy if they block the NBA’s attempt to continue.
There’s simply too much money involved to stop this train from moving, and the current expectation is there will still be a season. Unlike other sports like football and baseball, NBA players hold around a 50-50 split of revenue and their actions will directly impact their earnings and even their future relationship with the owners, who could wreak havoc in the next collective bargaining agreement negotiations.