Hall of Famer Charles Barkley has always been one to speak his mind ever since he became an NBA analyst for Turner Sports. This season is no different with Barkley expressing his opinion on yet another disappointing season for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Barkley recently made an appearance on The Beast 980 and the topic of Kobe Bryant and the Lakers struggling came up. The former NBA MVP believes the Lakers really mismanaged how they handled Kobe and thinks the team’s game plan really didn’t make sense:
I think the Lakers should have come in with a game plan.
“Listen, we’re not going to be any good. Let’s try to get some young players and see who we got going forward. Kobe, you’re kind of a mentor. You’re going to play 25-30 minutes a night. At some point this season, you’re going to pass Michael Jordan. There’s no need to play you 38 minutes. We’re not going to be better. We’re not going to make the playoffs.”
They should have had that gameplan from the beginning. In the beginning, he was playing 40 minutes in a couple games, which is just stupid.
It is hard to argue with Barkley’s point here considering the fact that head coach Byron Scott has admitted to playing Kobe too many minutes earlier in the season. Now Bryant is facing a difficult decision in the twilight of his career after suffering a torn rotator cuff on his right shoulder in the loss to the New Orleans Pelicans earlier this week.
Although many Lakers fans held out hope that Kobe might be able to keep this team afloat this season, it became clear that the talent level around the veteran guard simply wasn’t enough to contend in a highly competitive Western Conference.
With Kobe potentially out for the rest of the season, the superstar’s immediate future with the team remains in doubt. The Lakers brass will likely try to make a major splash in free agency this summer and could even attempt to make a trade or two before the NBA deadline on Feb. 19, but there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to right the ship quickly.
Lakers Kobe Bryant Tears Rotator Cuff