Barkley calls out Kobe for lack of effort


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
NEW YORK (AP) - Charles Barkley is calling out Kobe Bryant again for dogging it. Barkley criticized Bryant on Monday for the way he asked the Lakers to trade him, then for not appearing to give his full effort since owner Jerry Buss said he would consider a deal

So when Barkley goes on the air Tuesday night for TNT's season-opening doubleheader, he will probably have some strong words about Bryant for the second time in three years. He said Phil Jackson's questioning of Bryant's effort over the weekend was the "final straw."

"What Phil Jackson said yesterday, that was like they're at the point of no return now. There's a point where you know you can make a marriage work, but what Phil Jackson said yesterday, that was the end of it," Barkley said at a luncheon with fellow studio analyst Kenny Smith. "That's the one thing I respect most about Kevin Garnett.

Even though he played on terrible teams, there is not a player in the last 10 years who played harder than Kevin Garnett. And that's the one thing that disappoints me. Phil said that Kobe's just going through the motions. ... And if your coach tells you you're just going through the motions, that's pretty much the end of the straw."

Barkley called Bryant "selfish" after Game 7 of the Lakers' first-round playoff loss to Phoenix in 2006, after Bryant took just three shots and scored only one point in the second half while the Suns pulled away. Bryant told Barkley he was upset in some text message responses, then made a guest appearance on TNT's coverage later in the playoffs to discuss the matter with Barkley on the air. Though Barkley said at the time he should have handled his criticism differently, he maintains now he was right, even recalling a game a couple of years earlier against Sacramento when Bryant was also accused of not shooting as a way to prove a point.

"Did you see anybody defending him? Did you see any of his coaches or players saying what Charles said wasn't right?" Barkley said. "You can't fool people. I like Kobe Bryant. I think he's the best player we got in the NBA. I didn't like what he did in Phoenix at all." TNT will show the Lakers' opener against Houston on Tuesday night after televising NBA champion San Antonio's game against Portland in the opener. Barkley and Smith said the Bryant situation will come up, and both will probably criticize the way Bryant has acted since last season ended. Smith said Bryant broke "etiquette rules" by publicly criticizing teammates during his trade demand. Barkley was harder on Bryant's actions since camp opened.

Bryant skipped practices and games — Barkley called it a "sabbatical" — after Buss said he would consider trading his star, and Barkley blames both of them for creating the situation. "When Jerry Buss comes into training camp and says they're going to trade Kobe, Kobe says, 'All right, I'm going to take a week's vacation,"' Barkley said.

"Jerry shouldn't have said that. Wasn't no doubt in my mind (Bryant) was just blowing off games and practice because he was (mad) about what Dr. Buss said. They shouldn't have said that. He should have went to Kobe 'Kobe you want to be traded, we'll try to make it work.' But the guy's skipping practices, going through the motions." Barkley said the Lakers need to find the best deal possible to make sure Bryant doesn't eventually leave without them getting anything back. Smith didn't sound as certain he'd make a trade.

"If I was the Lakers, I'd still have Shaq, too," Smith said. Barkley also said he plans to address the Tim Donaghy scandal Tuesday and praised commissioner David Stern for saying the league would lighten the casino gambling restrictions on its referees. During its coverage, TNT will also talk with Stern, who will be in San Antonio for the Spurs' ring ceremony.


screw Barkley! how many championships does he have? I usually like the guy, but he bitches about WAY TOO MUCH, must be his old age...


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
I think he has the right to criticize players, it's his job, this ain't the first time that Barkley has criticize Kobe, he even said in his face. Barkley knows what he's talking about, and he's absouloutly right on this one, Kobe has been dogging it in the pre-season, I know it's the pre-season, and when the season is going to start he's going to be ready to play. But I agree with Sir Charles.


Aw, Here It Goes!
Both sides are right IMO, Barkley is right to criticize Kobe for lack of effort thats not the way to play the game. KG was used for an example no matter what the situation he played as hard as he could even with a bad team. On the other side wasnt Kobe promised by Lakers management that they would try to build a title contender while he was playing, but instead they refuse to trade Bynum and miss an opportunity to get Kidd appear to have plans for the future and not anytime soon. I guaruntee any of us would mad if we were lied to in order to sign a contract.