On Inside the NBA, Charles Barkley was asked about his criticism of DeMarcus Cousins which hasn’t sat well with the King’s center who recently said he has “no respect” for Barkley. Barkley explained his feelings towards Cousins and ended it with a “he can’t whoop my ass” and “there will be some furniture moving if he ever puts his hands on me.”
Shaq, who is a part owner of the Kings, didn’t seem to find Barkley’s comments amusing.
Cousins on Barkley Via Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report:
Mention that Barkley doesn’t believe the cold shoulder is merited, and Cousins responds as if Barkley is standing directly in front of him:
“I have no respect for you and I never will. We have nothing to talk about. So, yes, every time we see each other, there will never be words.”
Barkley wishes he understood why Cousins holds such a grudge against him. He acknowledges that when Cousins was in high school, he went down to see him in a state playoff game. As Barkley remembers it, Cousins complained to referees incessantly, fouled out and picked up a couple of technical fouls in the process.
“I made a very conscious effort not to be too hard on him,” Barkley said. “I said he had a chance to be really good; I just told the reporters afterward that I was a little disappointed. Since then, I’ve also said he could be the best big man in the game if he’d just grow up. He’s never had a strong coach that held him accountable. I wish he’d had a Pat Riley or Gregg Popovich or George Karl or Doc Rivers that would’ve held his feet to the fire.”
Cousins insists Barkley said much more, but what truly vexes him is that Barkley would say anything that could endanger a kid from Alabama’s dream of making it big, knowing how rare that is for anyone from the Cotton State. Barkley also later stuck up for Westphal, whom he played for in his only NBA Finals appearance in ’93, after he suspended Cousins for conduct detrimental to the team.
“Coming up as a kid and hearing that from one of the best players ever to come out of Alabama,” Cousins said, “a guy people grow up looking up to, to hear him say, ‘Well, he’s not that good…’ I remember it like it was yesterday. Then, coming into my rookie season, you take up for your ex-coach and say I’m the worst thing that ever happened to Sacramento on national TV. Yeah, I’m going to remember.”