“These NBA players are so dumb”: Charles Barkley expressed frustration after Thunder struggle against Pelicans

Charles Barkley recently expressed frustration at NBA players struggling with a zone defense. He criticized their difficulty in handling this defensive strategy, labeling them as “dumb” during a segment on “Inside the NBA.”

Charles burst out after watching the Oklahoma City Thunder struggle against the New Orleans Pelicans’ zone defense in the first half of their game. During the halftime discussion, Barkley, along with Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson analyzed the Thunder-Pelicans match. Smith highlighted how the Pelicans gained an advantage by switching to a zone defense, leading to a scoring run.

“These NBA players are so dumb. The zone defense is the easiest defense in the world to play against. All you got to do is move the ball. Guys, when they see a zone, it’s like their brain locks up.

“Dude, move the ball. The ball moves faster than any human in the world, but these guys are so dumb, man. They don’t know how to play basketball. We’re raising a generation of dummies.”

Despite Barkley’s criticism, he acknowledged that zone defense wasn’t used during his playing days due to NBA restrictions. He highlighted its limited use in professional basketball, but it is more effective in international and college games.

Charles Barkley and Shaq talks about what the league does to refs after games

During Tuesday night’s pregame show, the Inside the NBA crew extensively discussed how the league manages referees. The focus was on the NBA’s practice of releasing a “last two minutes report” after games, which often highlights critical mistakes by referees during the final moments, as seen in Monday’s Sixers-Knicks game. Shaq and Barkley disapproved of these reports, suggesting that such information should remain private.

This discussion is particularly relevant for 76ers fans, who are likely reflecting on the Game 2 report and how it could have altered the outcome for their team in a tough loss. Philadelphia will aim to bounce back in Game 3 against New York on Thursday night.


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