For a younger generation he’s the opinionated and funny guy on the TNT broadcasts.
But for people a few years older, they remember that Charles Barkley could play. Like got into the Hall of Fame could play — he was an NBA MVP, a gold medalist on the Dream Team, an 11 time All-Star who is only one of three players to finish his career with better than 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 4.000 assists (the other two are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain).
Barkley was a boorish young player, full of himself and a competitive fire that sometimes went too far (remember he tried to spit on a heckler and instead spit on an 8-year) but was jut part of who he is. The funny man on television now is just a more mature extension of the player.
But Barkley had the unfortunate luck of being born three days after Michael Jordan. So while television specials and a HUGE party in Houston All-Star weekend celebrated all things MJ, Barkley will get overshadowed. It happened the same way in his career — Barkley got the Suns to the NBA finals only to run into the Bulls buzz saw. And Jordan.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.