Former 11-time NBA All-Star and 1993 Most Valuable Player Charles Barkley joined fellow hosts Ernie Johnson and Kenny “The Jet” Smith on the show ‘Inside the NBA’ back in 2000, and since then has been part of innumerable controversies.
Recently, Barkley joined The Pat McAfee Show, telling its namesake host that he plans to retire in two years while lamenting the way he is sometimes criticized by NBA stars like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.
“These Dudes Never Call Me When I Talk About How Great They Are,” Barkley said according to Essentially Sports.
In 2006, Barkley had a run-in with Kobe Bryant that has since become legendary, after one of Bryant’s most controversial performances against the Phoenix Suns in Game 5 of their first round series loss against the Phoenix Suns.
Barkley Says Kobe Called Him for Three Hours Straight, “Cursing Him Out Like a Dog”
On May 5, 2006, Bryant took only three shots in the second half of a 121-90 Game Five road loss against the Suns, that drew a great deal of criticism from Barkley and other basketball pundits.
Many believed that Kobe was attempting to prove a point to Lakers management that he didn’t have enough help to get his team over the hump and beat complete teams like those Suns, who featured an MVP Steve Nash, Shawn “The Matrix” Marion, and Amar’e Stoudemire, who didn’t play in Game Five.
Kobe had scored a then-arena record 51 points at the U.S. Airways Center a little less than a month earlier against the Suns.
Barkley called out Bryant for his low volume of shots in Game Five, saying he believed Bryant was trying to prove a point that he had no help from his teammates.
The box scores for this ‘Kobe Quit Game’ can be read on ESPN.com here.
Bryant scored 24 points, but only Lamar Odom (12 points), Luke Walton (16 points), and Sasha Vujacic (11 points) had double-figure contributions of their own from a L.A. Lakers roster that was lean on talent.
Following the game, Barkley says Kobe Bryant was not happy with his comments on the post-game show.
Check out video of Barkley’s interview with McAfee below.
Did Kobe Quit on His Teammates in Game Five?
I vividly remember watching this game and thinking to myself that Bryant did in fact quit on his teammates in Game Five, at least according to his standards as a mega-star who was paid the big bucks to carry the team on his back.
Of course, I was biased because I was rooting hard for the Phoenix Suns, but that was my interpretation of Kobe’s performance at the time.
Recently, one YouTube channel decided to revisit that infamous Game Five, and released the following video exploring the topic of whether Kobe quit on his teammates or not.
Check it out below and let us know what you think on our Facebook page.
Do you think Kobe quit on his teammates in Game Five?