Beef is good: ‘The Last Dance’ and Charles Barkley vs. Draymond Green

Apr 28, 2020, 1:08 PM
Phoenix's Charles Barkley celebrates as his coach Paul Westphal cheers him on as they rolled to a 1...
Phoenix's Charles Barkley celebrates as his coach Paul Westphal cheers him on as they rolled to a 104-97 victory over the SuperSonics on Friday night, May 28, 1993 in Seattle. Phoenix leads the best of seven series 2-1 with the fourth game on Sunday in Seattle. (AP Photo/Bill Chan)
(AP Photo/Bill Chan)

The coronavirus-caused stoppage in sports has made one thing clear: Without live events, fans crave beef.

It’s why the most-circulated highlights from ESPN’s documentary series “The Last Dance” revolve around the Chicago Bulls’ hatred of the Detroit Pistons.

The latest episodes release Sunday reignited that rivalry. The story of Michael Jordan and his former Bulls teammates explaining the instance of the Pistons walking out after losing a playoff series without shaking Chicago players’ hands reignited a years-past hatred.

It was great TV.

Former Phoenix Suns forward Charles Barkley, despite losing to the Bulls in the 1993 NBA Finals himself, holds Jordan and the Bulls in higher regard. But Barkley still has his beefs.

One with current Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green just doesn’t have an end in sight.

Asked on a conference call with Phoenix media members who would win in a one-on-one battle between the players in their primes, Barkley had this to say:

“Too little. Too little. Too little,” he said of Green. “That’s all I’ll say.”

Like the Bulls’ hatred of the Pistons that hasn’t dissipated in nearly two decades, neither has Barkley’s and Green’s.

“I like him, I think he’s a good player, I like his personality,” Barkley said on Coffee with Cal last week before showing how much he doesn’t like them. “I like these guys who are born into money think they are successful.

“He’s the worst member of the boy band who doesn’t realize he’s standing next to Justin Timberlake … Draymond’s a good little player, but without Kevin Durant, Klay (Thompson) and Steph (Curry), he’s just a good little player.”

Barkley has long criticized Green. Earlier this year, Barkley made fun of Green playing as the best player on a struggling Golden State team by saying he averaged a “triple-single.”

Green didn’t take kindly to it.

“He should stop before I take his job,” Green told reporters in March. “If he keep talking, I’ll take it soon. Sooner than he thinks. He also can’t talk basketball with me. Not smart enough, not qualified. No rings, can’t sit at this table.”

Beef is good.

When the Suns met the Bulls and eventually lost to them in the 1993 NBA Finals, there wasn’t exactly beef between them. Barkley’s team fell in what would probably be known as his best chance at winning a title, and the Suns returned to a parade in the streets of downtown Phoenix, an unusual scene for a runner-up.

“This is a Suns town,” Barkley said Tuesday. “The reason I live here is they love the Phoenix Suns.”

Currently, Barkley has time on his hands, making media rounds, riding his bike more and trying to stay healthy while practicing social distancing. He’s made a pact with 10-15 friends of ex-athletes to only drink on Fridays and Saturdays.

“We work out every morning, we work out every afternoon. We play golf like two or three days a week,” he said. “We’re trying to use this in a positive way. You can’t do nothin’, man. You’ll go crazy.

“Like, when I tested for the virus (Editor’s note: Barkley’s test for coronavirus came back negative), I was stuck in my condo in Atlanta for 10 days and I thought I was going to go freakin’ nuts.”

One way to pass the time: Serving up beef, a staple for sports fans during these unprecedented times.

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Beef is good: ‘The Last Dance’ and Charles Barkley vs. Draymond Green