Charles Barkley berates NBA superstars for practicing load management

Charles Barkley is not a fan of load management, so he made sure to call out the NBA players about it. Barkley did it before the first game of the season between the Denver Nuggets and LA Lakers, and in front of NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

In the first episode of “Inside the NBA” on TNT, the crew welcomed everyone to the start of the 2023-24 season. With Silver as their guest, Barkley showed his displeasure about how players use load management despite making millions of dollars every year.

“I’m talking to the players,” Barkley said. “Forget the ownership, forget the fans. As a player, if you’re gonna make $50, $60 million a year to play basketball three or four days a week, play basketball. … If you’re injured, I don’t want you to play.

“Bless these guys, you’re making $30, $40, $50 million to play basketball four days a week. You got the best shoes, you got the best medical staff, you got these guys sleeping in chambers, you got ice baths. Man, if you can play, shut the hell up and play.”

Charles Barkley has a point considering old-school NBA players play through the pain and minor injuries. Load management was not in their vocabulary and they were not earning that much back then. It was all about love for the game and fans should be happy that the league did something to combat it.

Players are now required to play at least 65 games to be eligible for individual awards. With most star players having clauses in their contracts about accolades, they might not have a choice but to play more games.

Load management was under scrutiny from fans and former NBA players over the past couple of years because superstars get rested on the road frequently despite not nursing any injuries. These superstars rob fans, who paid with their hard-earned money, to watch them play.

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Charles Barkley barely missed any games in his prime

Charles Barkley during his tenure with the Phoenix Suns.
Charles Barkley during his tenure with the Phoenix Suns.

Charles Barkley has only played 82 games in a season once in his career, but he has stayed relatively healthy for most of his prime. Barkley’s prime was from the late 1980s to the early 1990s, split between the Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns.

“The Roundmound of Rebound” was plagued by injuries in the latter part of his career with the Houston Rockets. He played in just 62 games in his final two years in the league.

Nevertheless, no one could question Barkley’s heart when he returned from a ruptured quadriceps tendon in his final season, so the last image of his career was him playing.


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Edited by Juan Paolo David

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