Inside The NBA’s barrage of idiocy puts Barkley and Shaq on rocky path

The TNT mainstay has provided fine entertainment over the years but it is becoming increasingly hampered by hot takes and bullying

By DJ Gallo / The Guardian / Tuesday 28 February 2017 05.00 EST


“Inappropriate. Whiny. [LeBron James is] all of the above. The Cleveland Cavaliers, they have given him everything he wanted. They have the highest payroll in NBA history. Does he want all of the good players? He doesn’t want to compete?”

Skip Bayless has forged a career as a LeBron James troll. From ESPN to FS1, he fills time through the calendar year ripping the greatest basketball player in the world. As James continues to pile outstanding season on outstanding season, Bayless’ unyielding attacks have grown increasingly pathetic and baseless, whatever credibility he once had as a talking head falling away faster than his ratings. It would be a shame if the same fate befell TNT’s acclaimed Inside The NBA show.

While the quote above is standard Bayless fare, it wasn’t said by the Fox troll. Those words are a Charles Barkley special proclaimed on TNT last month. In the past year Barkley has called James inappropriate and whiny, delivered the objectively terrible opinion that James is only barely a Top 10 player all-time and stated that the Cleveland star deserved to be punched in the groin for stepping over karate/basketball practitioner Draymond Green in the Finals. The barrage of idiocy makes Inside The NBA feel increasingly like it’s out of place as a night time, postgame show and would fit better alongside the likes of First Take and Undisputed in the early morning – the hot take hours, where reason and nuance dare not show their face.