Charles Barkley is “pissed off.”
During Thursday’s “Inside the NBA,” Barkley called out the Lakers’ organization for seemingly scapegoating coach Frank Vogel and newly acquired guard Russell Westbrook for the team’s recent struggles.
“I’m not going to sit out like all these clowns on other networks that got their heads up the Lakers booties,” Barkley said without naming names.
“Now they’re blaming Frank Vogel and Russell Westbrook — listen the people up top who put that trash together are running and hiding like cowards saying, ‘Oh it’s Frank and Russ.’ You put all them old geezers out there.”
The Lakers roster has an average age of 30. The offseason additions of Westbrook, 33, Carmelo Anthony, 37, Trevor Ariza 36, and Dwight Howard, 36, made them the oldest active team in the NBA. LeBron James turned 37 last month.
“I don’t care who wins, I just want the season to be over so we can go play golf and fish. But the Lakers are such wussies,” Barkley said in his rant, noting that he wanted to use a word similar to wussies but couldn’t due to TNT regulations.
“The way they have tried to throw Russell Westbrook and Frank Vogel under the bus is just really pissing me off… The best guy other than LeBron in the last month has been who? Stanley Johnson. And for y’all to be bringing a guy who was on the street and becomes your second best player, and whoever’s running that trash out there and getting away, it’s ridiculous man.”
Westbrook’s recent shooting slump led to him being benched in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s 111-104 loss to the Pacers at home. That came after the Lakers were blown out by the Nuggets in a 37-point loss over the weekend.
At one point, host Ernie Johnson interrupted Barkley’s rant because they had a guest waiting to be interviewed.
“The Lakers still suck when we get back from this interview,” Barkley said, later adding that he was “still mad” when the show returned after a commercial break.
Barkley’s rant came days after Magic Johnson ripped the team in a tweet, tagging owner Jeanie Buss.
The Lakers are a completely different team then the James-led squad that won a title in the 2020 NBA bubble season. With a 22-23 record and Anthony Davis injured, the Lakers can’t seem to find their rhythm with a Hall of Fame roster they threw together. Their veteran squad has also been riddled with injuries during a second consecutive pandemic season.
Vogel, meanwhile, has reportedly been “coaching for his job.”
James has attempted to do damage control in press conferences, saying the coaching staff isn’t to blame for the team’s recent struggles.
The Lakers play the Magic on Friday to kick off an East Coast road trip against the Heat, Nets, Hornets, and Hawks.