PHOENIX SUNS

Charles Barkley lends an optimistic perspective about the Suns, Cardinals

May 28, 2019, 12:14 PM | Updated: 10:01 pm
NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley looks on while smoking a cigar during the Julius Erving Golf Clas...
NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley looks on while smoking a cigar during the Julius Erving Golf Classic at The ACE Club on September 11, 2017 in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images for PGD Global)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images for PGD Global)

Former Suns star Charles Barkley still spends a good deal of time in Phoenix, and that permits him the opportunity to keep a close eye on the recently-lacking Valley sports scene.

So it maybe matters that the honest and always opinionated NBA analyst for TNT dropped a few positive thoughts about the state of Arizona’s two most popular sports teams when he visited Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

For the state’s original pro sports team, the Suns, it’s about new head coach Monty Williams taking a young roster and having the time and stability to nourish it. It was most helpful that former Phoenix owner Jerry Colangelo helped push Williams to the Suns and vice versa, he said.

Current Suns owner Robert Sarver, Colangelo said, even earned a blessing from his predecessor to hire Williams, pairing him with general manager James Jones.

“It’s all going to come down to Robert, whether he lets these guys do their jobs,” Barkley said Tuesday. “The Suns, man, they are really close. I know they got an awful record (last year) and all this turmoil going on, but man, they are so close to being a good team.

“They got some talent, some really good talent. They can’t fire a general manager two weeks before the season started, firing a coach after one year. These kids are so young … they don’t even get to talk about basketball. It’s so much noise going around the organization, you can’t even concentrate.”

Barkley hopes that the rumors and reports of Sarver’s micromanaging are stories of the past.

He likewise has a hopeful attitude when it comes to the Arizona Cardinals. They fired first-year head coach Steve Wilks after closing 2018 with a 3-13 record, then made the nontraditional hire of first-time NFL head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

Kingsbury has dined with Barkley, the latter said.

“I’m a big Kliff Kingsbury fan, I’m not going to lie,” Barkley told Bickley & Marotta. “Everybody’s going to talk about wins and losses. He was at Texas Tech. He wasn’t at Texas or Auburn or Alabama. Texas Tech is only going to be so successful.

“… He was always consistent, he always scored,” Barkley added. “If the Cardinals can fix their defense and the little fella’ (quarterback Kyler Murray) can stay healthy … they shot their shot. And I would love to see Larry finish up competitively. I wanted to see the greatest player in Arizona history, in all sports … I would hate to see him finish up on a lousy team.”

Phoenix Suns

Cameron Johnson #23 of the Phoenix Suns drives the ball past Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns not building up 16-game win streak, big-time matchup vs. Warriors

The Phoenix Suns are not going to get too excited about a game in November despite the hype behind Tuesday's matchup with Golden State.
20 hours ago
JaVale McGee #00 of the Phoenix Suns warms up before the game against the Sacramento Kings at Golde...
Sam Graveline

Javale McGee: Suns being overlooked, not begging for attention

Despite the Suns holding the second best record in the NBA, center Javale McGee thinks the team is being overlooked by national media.
2 days ago
Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors looks to pass the ball away from Jae Crowder #99 of ...
Kellan Olson

Warriors provide Suns elite test: Here’s how Golden State started 18-2

The main factor in the Golden State Warriors' NBA-best start of 18-2 is what the Phoenix Suns hope they are creating their own version of.
20 hours ago
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) shoots against Brooklyn Nets forward James Johnson (16) during ...
Arizona Sports

Devin Booker wins Western Conference POW amid Suns’ 16-game run

The NBA named Suns guard Devin Booker as the Western Conference Player of the Week as Phoenix's winning streak has reached 16 games.
2 days ago
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) reacts during the second half of an NBA basketball game against...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns smash Nets, return home with 16-game winning streak intact

Take the Phoenix Suns' winning streak out of the equation and these past two days are still their most impressive in a young season thus far.
4 days ago
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) shoots against Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) and guard...
Wills Rice

Suns wrap up road trip with 16th straight win by beating Nets

The Suns wrapped up their road trip with a 113-107 win over the Nets, extending the win streak to 16 games, one off the franchise record.
4 days ago
Charles Barkley lends an optimistic perspective about the Suns, Cardinals