No one will ever accuse Charles Barkley of mincing words.
The outspoken NBA on TNT analyst and arguably the greatest player in Phoenix Suns history took to the airwaves Wednesday joining Brad Cesmat on ‘Big Guy on Sports’ to vent his frustration on the perceived lack of direction with the struggling organization and his ambition in becoming the Suns next general manager after Lance Blanks was fired Monday.
Below are some exerts from the interview.
On the Suns front office issues the past few years: “Listen, trust me. The people running that ship crashed and burned it. They need somebody else who actually knows what they’re doing.”
His critics who say he’s not ready to be a GM: “The people who have been running the boat, they’ve been running The Titanic, just for the record. The Suns are The Titanic. So the notion that I can’t do better than them is ridiculous. I mean the Suns stink.”
How much control would you want if hired? “If they want to hire somebody they can control who’s going to be a flunky…they already did that once. I’ve had the same conversation and I’ve criticized Michael Jordan. If you’re just going to hire flunkies, you gonna throw them under the bus when you make bad draft picks. I don’t want that job. If they think I’m going to put my name out there and make bad draft pick and throw me under the bus, that’s not gonna happen, bro. I promise you that.”
On the commitment of being an NBA GM: “First of all I don’t believe it’s a 24-hour, seven [day a week] job. You draft your players. You have your team. How many trades do you make during the season? You might make a trade, but most of the good teams don’t make a lot of trades during the season. Do you have to be there everyday, of course you have to be there everyday. But you have to have a good supporting staff as far as going out and scouting players. Listen, this thing is about players, it’s not about the general manager. It’s about the general manager who’s picking players.”
If hired, how much influence will others within the organization have towards player personnel? “I don’t know Lon [Babby] and I don’t know Robert [Sarver] that well. Robert has always treated me good, but the notion that I will let Lon and Robert tell me about basketball players that’s not going to happen. I can tell you that right now.”
On his ability to recruit star players back to Phoenix: “If you’ve got money you can recruit anybody. Anytime somebody says money doesn’t matter you know they’re telling their first lie…take Oklahoma City, San Antonio. These guys draft well. They’ve got David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker…if you draft well you shouldn’t have to go out and get a free agent every off-season. Can you get free agents in Phoenix? Yea you can, but you build your team through the draft and the Suns have not drafted well. That’s plain and simple.”