In a conference call with reporters Monday, TNT analyst Charles Barkley, always happy to take a swing at an NBA piñata, offered this take on the Lakers:
“They’re the fourth-best team in California.“They’re lucky the Sparks ain’t playing [because] they’d be the fifth.”
Ouch. No one thinks the Lakers will be anywhere near as good as the title-contending Warriors and Clippers, and even the annually underwhelming Kings do appear to have a little more going for them (i.e., Boogie Cousins).
But worse than Los Angeles’s WNBA franchise? That’s cold. Especially considering that the Sparks went just 14-20 this season, although that was good enough to make the playoffs in a league that sends eight of its 12 teams to the postseason.
As for Bryant — a.k.a. the Lisa Leslie of the NBA — Barkley offered this opinion (via the Los Angeles Times):
“I hope it’s his last year,” Barkley said. “There’s a reason he keeps getting hurt. His body can’t take the NBA pounding anymore. I just want to remember the great Kobe Bryant. I don’t want him to come out there and play 20, 25 minutes a night and just have, like, a farewell tour.”
Barkley’s amusing candor is definitely among the reasons to get excited for the NBA’s imminent tip-off.