MIAMI, June 10 (UPI) — Basketball Hall of Famer and analyst Charles Barkley says he roots against the Brooklyn Nets during playoff games and is “disgusted” by the effort of the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Barkley spoke about the playoffs while on a conference call with reporters Wednesday for the American Century Championship. The celebrity golf tournament runs July 6-11 at Edgewood Tahoe Resort in Stateline, Nev.
The Nets lead the Bucks 2-0 in the second-round series. They face off in Game 3 at 7:30 p.m. EDT Thursday in Milwaukee. Nets forward Kevin Durant and guard Kyrie Irving have dominated the series. The duo, along with injured guard James Harden, are part of the latest NBA super team.
“I’m really against those guys,” said Barkley, an NBA analyst for TNT. “Kevin Durant is a great player and a great kid, but I’m not a fan of super teams.
“If they win it, they win it, but I root against those guys. I root against all super teams.”
The Bucks swept the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs. They lost by 39 points in their latest defeat by the Nets.
“The series is not over, but I’m so disgusted at Milwaukee,” Barkley said. “I can handle losing, but I can’t handle not competing. What we saw the last two games was not competing.”
Barkley said he roots against super teams — squads assembled through star player trades and signings — because of the negative impact they have on the teams and cities those players leave.
“I don’t think it’s good for business,” Barkley said. “These kids feel like they have to win a championship or their life sucks.”
Barkley spent eight seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, four seasons with the Phoenix Suns and four seasons with the Houston Rockets during his decorated NBA tenure.
The Suns haven’t appeared in the NBA Finals since Barkley was on the team in 1992-93, but this year’s team appears ready to make a run.
The Suns beat the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. They won Game 1 of their series against NBA MVP Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets by 17 points. The beat the Nuggets by 25 points in Game 2 on Wednesday in Phoenix.
“If [Suns center] Deandre Ayton plays even with the Jokic, they are going to win the series,” Barkley said of the Suns. “He outscored him and had just as many rebounds in Game 1. If that happens [two] more times, they have a great chance to win it.”
The Bucks host the Nets in Game 3 of that series at 7:30 p.m. EDT Thursday in Milwaukee. The Nuggets host the Suns in Game 3 of that series at 10 p.m. EDT Friday in Denver. Both games air on ESPN.