The NBA All-Star reserves were announced on Thursday, and Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns was among those named to the Western Conference roster.
It didn't take long for one of the most prevalent mouthpieces for the NBA to chime in his thoughts about Nash's inclusion.
Former Suns great Charles Barkley spoke up about the selections on Thursday's edition of NBA on TNT. Here's the way it went down with co-host Ernie Johnson, who asked Barkley about Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki, who was also awarded a roster spot.
Barkley: He shouldn't have made the All-Star team, him or Steve Nash should not have made the All-Star team, plain and simple.
Johnson: Why should Steve Nash not make the All-Star team?
Barkley: Because he's not playing like an All-Star. First of all, the Phoenix Suns are 11-14, they're nowhere even close to the playoffs. Kyle Lowry, playing for the Houston Rockets, they have the number four record in the Western Conference. Steve Nash, I got love for him, but he's not having an All-Star year.
Johnson: He leads the league in assists and is shooting 56%, the best shooting percentage. (Barkley tries to interrupt, but Johnson counters) You can't just disregard him, Chuck. So all you're going to do is look at it and say "they've got a losing record, get him out of here."
Kenny Smith: I do that.
Barkley: Yeah, we do that.
Oh, the convenience of a short memory.
During his illustrious career, Charles Barkley was an NBA All-Star eleven times. Three times, he was selected despite his team having a losing record at the All-Star break. In two of those seasons (1987-88 and 1991-92), Barkley's Philadelphia teams failed to reach the postseason.
In 1987-88, Barkley had an amazing first half of the season in which he averaged 28 points and 11 rebounds per game for an under-.500 Philadelphia team. He made it to his second All-Star Game as an Eastern Conference reserve. Using Barkley's own criteria, Jack Sikma, who had decent numbers (18 pts, 9 reb, 95% FT shooting) on a better Milwaukee team, would have been a better choice.
I ask you, basketball fan, would you rather watch Charles Barkley or Jack Sikma play in an All-Star game?
That's what I thought.
I'll ask another question of you, hoops aficionado, would you rather watch Steve Nash or Kyle Lowry setting up the best athletes in the game for high-flying dunks?
Kyle Lowry plays on a better team than Steve Nash does. But even though Nash is 13 years older than Lowry, the only thing the Rockets' guard does better at this point is play defense -- an ingredient that isn't even thought about at the All- Star Game.
This is not meant as a dis of Kyle Lowry, because if he continues the vast improvement he's displayed over the last two seasons, he'll play a lot of NBA All-Star Games. This year, he'll watch one of the all-time great point guards go in his place. There's no shame in that.
One of the reasons we love Charles Barkley is because he tells us exactly what's on his mind, no matter how outlandish it is.
This statement blew right past outlandish, and is just flat wrong.
But we still love you Charles, as long as you're not in drag on SNL.