Charles Barkley isn’t the biggest James Harden fan in the world.
The outspoken NBA analyst called it like he saw it in 2022, after Harden walked away from the Brooklyn Nets and broke another team.
“When someone wants to opt out, you let them go,” Barkley said during TNT’s NBA All-Star Game selection show featuring LeBron James and Kevin Durant choosing sides. “Don’t let them come back. I’m with you, KD.”
As Barkley talked about Harden, James was forced to cover his face with a clipboard to hide his laughter.
Durant also smiled when choosing Rudy Gobert, then Utah center, over Harden, who was still one of the best scorers in the NBA at that time.
“I’m definitely going to need some size,” Durant said.
The NBA All-Star Games are about consistent offensive scoring, not defense.
Choosing Gobert over Harden was a clear public shot from Durant, who had played with Harden in Oklahoma City and Brooklyn when he headed to Philadelphia.
The Beard ended up falling to James’ team as the final All-Star draft pick.
“He hasn’t played, is he healthy?” » asked James.
“He got traded. He’s healthy now,” Barkley joked, referring to Harden jumping ship.
Back then, he worked his way to the Philadelphia 76ers, breaking down a Brooklyn Nets super team that included Kyrie Irving and Durant.
On Tuesday, a disgruntled Harden forced his way to another team, leaving Joel Embiid and the 76ers behind and taking his aging talents to Los Angeles, where he joined Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and former Rockets/Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook with the now super team. Clippers.
Harden, 34, is a 10-time All-Star averaging 24.7 points, 7.0 assists and 5.6 rebounds during his 14-year career.
The 2017-18 NBA MVP has now been with the Thunder, Rockets, Nets, 76ers and Clippers since entering the league in 2009.
Harden appeared to gain weight when he left the Rockets.
He dealt with an injury with the Nets, then barely participated in the 76ers’ recent training camp and preseason schedule.