Charles Barkley has recently called the frustration aimed at David Stern stupid.
In an interview for the Dan Patrick Show, Barkley said he did not agree with recent statements made by sportscaster Bryant Gumbel.
In his show last week, Gumbel referenced slavery when speaking about the relationship between players and Stern, the NBA Commissioner.
“I thought they were stupid,” Barkley said on the Dan Patrick Show. “First of all it’s disrespectful to black people that went through slavery while guys are averaging five million dollars a year, that’s just disrespectful.”
Barkley said the comments about Stern were ignorant and that he researched the commissioner’s history himself. The retired NBA player turned commentator said that Stern increased paychecks for players.
“When David Stern took over, I went and did my research because I knew people would make a big deal out of it,” Barkley said.
He added, “When David Stern took over the NBA in 1984, which was my first year, the average salary was $315,000. That was the average salary. The average salary now is $5.15 million. When has he been holding people back from making money?”
Barkley also had an issue with some players going overseas, including Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant.
“Well Kobe’s got $83 million coming the next three years, he’s gonna make $27 million a year the next three years and I think he has to be very careful,” Barkley said.
“He’s an older player and if one of these guys were to get hurt and blow out their contract they’re going to look like the biggest idiot in the world. Kobe Bryant has been the face of the NBA for the last ten or 15 years,” he stated.
Although Barkley said he did not know what to expect from the lockout, he admitted that “he’s got too much at stake.”
Barkley said most people are focused on players, when Stern’s responsibility is to owners in the league.
“David Stern works for the owners and his job is to make sure the owners have a fair deal. I like Bryant and I like that show a lot but the commissioner works for the owners,” Barkley said. “He’s just trying to get a fair deal for the owners.”