“KD is a great player, and I think he’s a great kid,” Barkley said on a conference call for this weekend’s American Century Championship golf tournament. “I don’t know him that well, but I’m not a fan of superteams. So listen, if they win it, they win it, but to be perfectly clear, I’m rooting against those guys. I root against all superteams.
“If I’d known you guys were going to make fun of me for not winning a championship, I would have joined a superteam back in my day—me and Patrick [Ewing] and Karl Malone and John Stockton. But I feel good about my legacy. I’m pretty sure Patrick and John and Karl do, too. LeBron [James] started this superteam thing [in Miami], and hey, it’s the way the game is played now.”
“When Kawhi [Leonard] left Toronto—other than Chicago, that’s my favorite city in the world, [but] I’m never going there again,” Barkley said, noting that the Raptors are no longer a contender since Leonard left in free agency. “When LeBron left Cleveland, I’m never going there again. When James [Harden] left Houston, I’m never going to Houston again. Same thing when LeBron left Miami. Oklahoma City, once KD left, we’re never going back there again. And I don’t think that’s good for the game.
“To go back to my day, even though we didn’t win the championship, the Sixers were worth watching. The Knicks were worth watching. The Pacers were worth watching when Reggie was there, same thing with Atlanta and Dominique. I just don’t think it’s good for business, but these young kids, they all fold to peer pressure and feel like they’ve got to win a championship or their life sucks. I don’t believe that. Listen, there’s not many people I’d trade my life with.”
“I hope the two sides [fans and players] come together. I think the fans realize that life sucks without sports. If you don’t have sports, all you have is reality, and reality sucks. And the players learned that sports really sucks without fans. I’m hoping this is a turning point where we start having more respect for each other, and my jackass players don’t load-manage and sit out when they’re not hurt and won’t play back-to-back games. And I hope the fans [realize], if they give 110%, whether we win or not, [you] live with that. I’m hoping this is a time of reflection for fans and players to realize we’re much better together than apart.”
“I’m glad to see the Suns doing well. The food is better now. When they weren’t winning, they were selling cold nachos. They weren’t even putting jalapenos on it. You could park right beside the court, there were no fans. Now we’re back to being sold out every night. I love it.”