Hall of Famer and current NBA analyst for TNT Charles Barkley expressed his opinions on the new-look Los Angeles Lakers once again on Thursday with some unflattering comments about the team that was built to be a title contender for the final few years of Kobe Bryant’s career.
Barkley made it clear that he believes this team isn’t a legitimate title contender and this combination of older superstars simply won’t work via Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com:
“They’re old, slow and unathletic,” Barkley told Mike Hill and Mark Schlereth on “Mike & Mike” on ESPN Radio. “I have great respect for Kobe Bryant but I never thought this thing was going to work. Everybody went crazy when they won a couple games in a row but they’re old, slow and unathleltic.”
As one of the few superstars of the past that failed to win a championship and had to call it a career because of injury, Barkley always seems to come down hard on older teams trying to contend for titles. The Lakers are obviously no exception to Barkley’s criticism and the one-time NBA MVP might have a point with the Lakers struggling to play consistently.
The current squad may have won five out of their last six games, but it became clear after the loss to the Denver Nuggets recently that things still need to be corrected even with Steve Nash back running the show at the point guard position.
Although offense doesn’t appear to be a problem for this team with the Lakers averaging 102.9 points per game (5th in the NBA), the same can’t be said for the defensive end of the floor. The Lakers give up 100.6 points per game (24th in the NBA) to opponents so far this season and continue to struggle with their chemistry and communication on that end of the floor.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Lakers will be able to correct their problems under head coach Mike D’Antoni and turn things around in time to get back in contention for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
As of right now, the Lakers sit one game below .500 in 11th place in the conference at 14-15 heading into their matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night at the Staples Center.