Charles Barkley recently joined Zach Lowe’s podcast and gave his overall thoughts on superteams, as well as how they apply to the Houston Rockets.
Charles Barkley has made it known on numerous occasions that he’s not a fan of so-called superteams. With the Houston Rockets trading for him and bringing Scottie Pippen into the mix, it appears that Barkley believes that a championship in that scenario would not have been legitimate as others.
Sir Charles recently joined Zach Lowe on The Lowe Post to discuss various topics, including his thoughts on the trend of star players teaming up in an effort to win an NBA title. Barkley set up his comments on the Rockets by first answering a question from Lowe regarding Kevin Durant‘s decision to join the Golden State Warriors in 2016.
“I’m never gonna be happy with that,” said Barkley. “When I was going to demand to get traded, I didn’t say I wanted to play in Chicago, Boston or the Lakers. I just wanted to go to a team where I had a chance to compete.”
Many in NBA circles tend to agree that joining the team that just defeated Durant in the playoffs and was already a juggernaut was a questionable competitive move, but Barkley took it even further, including his own Rockets team in the conversation.
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When Lowe pointed out that Barkley took a pay cut to bring in Pippen in an effort to pool talent together around Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles had an interesting response.
“I wouldn’t even have counted that as a championship, I’m not gonna lie,” said Barkley. “Like, if Karl Malone had won a championship with the Lakers, that doesn’t count.”
It’s tough to say for sure how valid Barkley would have considered a title in ’97. I don’t exactly envision anyone that wins an NBA championship sheepishly hiding their rings away, even Charles.
Then again, he’s been on the record for years about his negative feelings on guys joining forces to form superteams.
Would a championship in 1997 have been as special as Houston’s back-to-back titles formed naturally through trades and smart drafting? Probably not.
But refusing to count them as a legitimate might be going overboard — even for a personality like Barkley’s.