When one of the greatest power forwards ever, Karl Malone, went off about players resting last week, a lot of people just didn’t want to hear it from the Mailman. Why? Some didn’t want to hear it because he never won a championship (stupid reason) and many others didn’t want to hear it because he once got a 13-year old girl pregnant and never bothered to take care of the child.
On Monday, the other great ringless power forward from the 80s and 90s, Charles Barkley, gave his two cents on the topic while calling in to the Rich Eisen Show.
“I’ve been in the NBA for over 30 years and all of the sudden now with better shoes, private jets, all this stuff they got, now all of the sudden they worried about getting hurt. I think it’s a joke, especially when you’re screwing your TV partners. Just for the record, we’re the reason they make $10, 20, 30 million – TV. No disrespect to the fans, but the reason players make $10, 20, 30 million is because of the TV partners – ESPN and us at Turner – and all of the sudden I don’t know where this thing comes from that they got to rest and you have all these idiots that say, ‘Well we have stats that show if you play back-to-back’ and I’m like, ‘Yo man, Bill Russell played in Converse. He had a long career. Tim Duncan, the greatest power forward ever, played 20 years basically and he went to college for 4 years. You look at Michael, he went to college for 3 years, he never got hurt.
Man, these guys, they just care about money nowadays. What I think needs to happen, I think the fans need to boycott games and boycott television to send these guys a message, because people always understand money. And I’m really sick of all these punk-ass reporters – and that’s all they are – they kiss up to this young generation, ‘Well these guys need rest.’ First of all, we’ve always needed rest but when you’re making millions of dollars to dribble a basketball, and listen, I’m so old I flew coach and played back-to-back games. These guys are flying private getting a great night’s sleeps, getting a great meal and they’re making $20, 30 million and they can’t play a couple basketball games?
This is ridiculous, man. Listen, I hope at some point the fans get together and say, ‘You know what we’re gonna do? We’re not gonna go to any games for a week and we’re not gonna watch any games on television for a week. I think if the fans hit back, it’d be great.”
Fans hit back? Yeah right! Most fans are more likely to hit a family member or significant other than say or do anything negative towards their favorite players. The players and the league may be guilty of wanting to have their cake and eat it too but most fans and “punk a$$ reporters” are guilty of wanting to have a piece of cake just so they can give it to their favorite player to eat.
Adam Silver did release a memo on Monday saying the issue is an “extremely significant” one and teams will face “significant penalties” if they don’t follow league rules. But have no fear for the players, the team will take those penalties and the players will still get their guaranteed money.