The Nets have found themselves among the NBA’s biggest villains this season, and they can count Charles Barkley as one of their many haters.
It’s not entirely personal, though.
“I’m not a fan of superteams,” Barkley said on a conference call Wednesday to discuss the NBA playoffs and playing in his 26th American Century Championship golf event. “If they win it, they win it. But I want to make it perfectly clear — I’m rooting against those guys. I’m rooting against all superteams. I’m old school.”
Not that Sir Charles hasn’t picked a side in the New York City rivalry.
“The Brooklyn Nets got a much better team, but when they play it’s like a mausoleum,” the former Suns, 76ers, and Rockets star said of Barclays Center. “And they got a much better team. I want [the Knicks] because that place was on fire, and I’m hoping they keep getting better because that place was fire. I’ve been there when it’s been on fire.”
Barkley’s Nets distaste should be no surprise to anyone in Brooklyn. The outspoken “Inside the NBA” analyst has feuded with multiple members of Brooklyn’s Big 3, exchanging barbs with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Despite his resentment of players forming superteams — he noted how they often decimate franchises, citing LeBron James twice leaving Cleveland — Barkley did give some thought to the Big 3 he’d love to have been a part of playing alongside former Jazz stars John Stockton and Karl Malone.
The championship chasing still grates on Barkley.
“I just don’t think that’s good for the game,” he said. “Even though we didn’t win a championship, the Sixers were worth watching when I was there. The Knicks were worth watching. The Pacers were worth watching when Reggie [Miller] was there. Same with Atlanta and Dominique [Wilkins]. I just don’t think it’s good for business but these young kids, they all fold to peer pressure and feel like they got to win a championship or their life sucks.”
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