PHOENIX SUNS

Charles Barkley has thoughts on ‘Mr. Miserable’ Kevin Durant, Kyler Murray’s contract

Aug 25, 2022, 9:25 AM | Updated: 11:17 am

Where do we start?

Charles Barkley has been hitting the golf courses hard during the NBA offseason, which undoubtedly has given him time to process whatever news has been out there. In Arizona, a potential Kevin Durant trade to the Phoenix Suns went out the window this week. Sir Charles has thoughts on that.

The Valley resident also has some strong feelings about the upcoming Arizona Cardinals season and how the team handled Kyler Murray’s contract situation. In a good way, we promise!

Barkley spoke about those two topics of the summer on Thursday when he joined Bickley & Marotta on Arizona Sports.

Durant’s legacy can still be written

Barkley has not pulled punches in describing Durant’s career arc. There is nothing new about him being critical of the Nets’ star and Durant going back at him.

“All the old guys, he get mad we say it, (but) he piggybacked on the Warriors to win his first two championships,” Barkley said Thursday. “But if you go back and look at his career, as the best player and being the leader that all goes with that, he’s been an abject failure. Every time he’s had to be the leader and best player, he has not had success. That’s what us old guys think about him.

“He seems like a miserable person, man. I call him Mr. Miserable, he’s never going to be happy. Everybody’s given him everything on a silver platter. He was the man in Oklahoma City, they loved him, he owned the entire state. He bolts on them and wins back-to-back championships (with Golden State), and he’s still not happy. Then he goes to Brooklyn, they give him everything he wants and he’s still miserable.”

Durant on Tuesday patched things up with the Nets, and the two parties agreed to move forward with a roster that also features Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons.

Barkley believes that the core and the pieces around it could be scary good, and his opinion of Durant could change if that team makes its way to a title this season.

But Brooklyn will have to enter the season on point, or the media circus could create a pressure-cooker that could fracture an already fragile team.

“If they buy in, they could be really tough to beat,” Barkley said.

So what about the updated trajectory of the Suns?

Barkley would have tried to add Durant to a Suns team that also had Devin Booker and Chris Paul, to be clear. Like everyone else, Phoenix didn’t have the enticing package to trade for Durant.

Now, the Suns move forward with a lot of continuity from the team that got blown out in Games 6 and 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals last year.

“I was shell-shocked. I’m not normally shell-shocked in a game,” Barkley said of the Game 7 loss to Dallas where the Mavericks’ Luka Doncic equaled Phoenix’s 27 first-half points.

“Game 7 was probably the most crazy thing I’ve probably ever seen from an NBA team at home in a Game 7. Like, I know teams have lost Game 7 at home. That game was over at the half. We were sitting in the (TNT) studio and Shaq (O’Neal) and Kenny (Smith) and Ernie (Johnson) looked at me and I’m like, ‘Dude, I’m in total shock right now.'”

Barkley has the Los Angeles Clippers as a favorite to win the NBA title, with the Suns needing to chase them and the Warriors.

As for an explanation about what happened to Phoenix, Barkley’s guess is as good as yours. He thinks the Suns would have beaten eventual champion Golden State.

“They must’ve had some friction going on and it just balled to a head,” Barkley said. “That’s the only thing I could think of, to be honest with you.”

Ready for a big year from the Cardinals, Kyler Murray

The Chuckster might have reasons to worry about the Suns, but he’s more optimistic than most about the Valley’s NFL team.

“I’m a big (Steve) Keim and Kliff Kingsbury fan. I like Kliff a lot,” Barkley said of the Cardinals general manager and head coach. “I feel like he’s done a heck of a job making us relevant again. I like the controversy in the offseason with Kyler Murray. I like it because when you start holding your stars accountable — I went through it with (Suns owner Jerry Colangelo) and I went through it with (Suns coach Cotton Fitzsimmons), like, ‘Hey, when you the man, you got to be the man.’

“I like the fact they challenged (Murray) … I feel like it’ll pay dividends. I want to see Kyler Murray take the next step and be that superstar quarterback. When they give you that much money, it change(s) the whole dynamic, it comes with great responsibility. I think he’s going to stand up to the challenge.”

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