The Wizards have plummeted considerably since then, and so has Barkley’s opinion of the franchise — which he shared on Thursday night during “Inside the NBA” on TNT. Analysts Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal were asked to describe their surprises and disappointments through the first month of the season and Barkley and O’Neal both singled out the 3-15 Wizards.
Barkley started his comments by mentioning that the quality of play has been poor and wasn’t willing to use the lockout as an excuse. He added, “We got some bad basketball teams in the NBA.”
“Name three,” Smith said.
Barkley mentioned the Charlotte Bobcats, then said, “The worst team in the NBA, the Washington Bullets.”
Smith responded, “The Washington Generals?”
Smith then interrupted Barkley and asked, “You in a time warp? You said the Bullets.”
Barkley shot back, “I call ’em the Bullets, ’cause I want to shoot ’em.”
Barkley later explained, “I’ll never call them the Wizards. First of all, they should be called the Generals. They already got . . . Flip Saunders got fired. Let me tell you something, Phil Jackson, Red Auerbach, Lenny Wilkins, all of them coaching together couldn’t make them bums winners.”
O’Neal was next up and said, “My biggest disappointment is the Wizards, the Bullets, whatever you call them. I think with all the ability and talent that John Wall has, he needs to do a better job of leading the team. Just like, they make a lot of juvenile mistakes. The other day, watched JaVale McGee throw it off the glass when they’re down by six. Andray Blatche is a good player but I think he could step his game up a little bit. And I’m very surprised and I’m disappointed they are the worst team in the league right now.”
When host Ernie Johnson told O’Neal that the Wizards were undefeated since Randy Wittman took over, Barkley said, “Actually Flip Saunders should get a raise for getting three wins out of that team.”
Johnson replied, “He didn’t. He got two. Wittman got the third.”
The crew started to laugh some more.