Charles Barkley has a reputation for speaking his mind without much of a filter. And when it comes to the rumors of Carmelo Anthony maneuvering his way to Miami to join the Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, Barkley does little to dissuade that image of himself.
“If that happens, it’d be a travesty for the game,” said Barkley. “I don’t understand why these guys are afraid to compete against each other. That’s what sports are — a competition. As much Heat hate as I have, it’d only grow. If they get Carmelo, they’d be the overwhelming favorite.”
The league’s No. 2 scorer behind MVP Kevin Durant is set to officially become a free-agent early next month and figures to have his pick from at least six different teams. Besides the Knicks, who have already sent a contingent led by Phil Jackson, owner James Dolan, and new coach Derek Fisher to Los Angeles to meet with him, Anthony has also garnered strong interest from the Bulls, Rockets, and Mavs.
Having buddy James and the perennially championship-competing Heat entering the fray could throw a whole other dynamic into the mix. One the Hall of Famer Barkley insists would not be good for the game.
In the past, the outspoken TNT analyst has blasted the Miami fan base and what he sees as their overly laid-back attitude as harshly as he now has the thought of the aforementioned quartet teaming up.
“I’ve always thought LeBron James was going to go back to Cleveland,” Barkley recently told reporters. “I think LeBron made a huge mistake with that ‘Decision’ crap. I hope he goes back to Cleveland. Those fans in Miami are not real fans.”
For the Heat to have any chance of actually landing Anthony, he, James, Wade and Bosh would all have to agree to take substantially less money than what they might ordinarily net. During the season, the high-scoring forward indicated that at this point in his career he might be open to taking less money for the chance to play for a title.