Charles Barkley took a scathing shot at today’s crop of NBA players for missing games due to “load management.”
During a recent interview, the Hall of Famer implied that he hopes the next CBA takes a stand against “load management” as he hopes the owners “put their foot in [the players’] asses.”
“It’s embarassing for the NBA. I cannot wait for these owners to put their foot in their asses in this next CBA,” Barkley said.
“These dudes gonna do something to these players. They gonna be like wait a minute you can’t make $50 million and not play half the season, okay? Because now you’re really just slapping me in my face and taking my check twice a month.” [via SiriusXM NBA Radio]
While the debate surrounding load management has been ongoing for a few seasons now, the topic has made its way back into headlines in recent days after the Golden State Warriors recently benched Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green in a road game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
It’s certainly going to make the next CBA negotiation interesting, as the owners will never agree to shortening the season (and therefore curtailing revenue), while the players will continue to trend in the direction of sports science in an effort to prolong their careers.
The debate has sparked responses from numerous members of the media, including this impassioned take from NBA champion and current ESPN analyst Richard Jefferson, who shared an anecdote about his family saving up enough money to buy him a singular ticket to a Spurs game as a Christmas present, and how heartbroken he would have been if David Robinson, his favorite player, sat that game out:
“So I take that responsibility [as a player] and say, ‘Wait, we can’t just gloss over this,'” Jefferson said. “And I blame the teams. I blame the training staffs. Because the players in this generation are doing more of what they are told, then going out there and leaving it all out on the floor.”
The NBA’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement runs through the 2023/24 season.
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