The Dallas Mavericks played the Philadelphia 76ers on TNT on Thursday night which gave the Inside the NBA crew a chance to discuss the Luka Doncic - Kyrie Irving backcourt. Kenny Smith and Shaquille O'Neal had some optimism with Shaq saying they could work if someone makes some sacrifices and Kenny pointing out how talented the duo is, but Charles Barkley was having none of it saying, "It's never gonna work. Never thought it was going to work."
Barkley's reasoning for this was that they, "don't play defense. They don't rebound the ball."
Kyrie Irving is averaging 5.1 rebounds a game this season. That's not that bad. And Luka is always getting those triple-doubles so he must rebound a little, as Ernie Johnson tried to point out. Barkley's response?
"Not like that though. Yeah, he gets rebounds, but it's not like that. it's ain't the same. His rebounds are just rebounds. They're not like game-deciding rebounds. All rebounds are not created equal."
Luka Doncic is averaging 8.8 rebounds a game this year and 8.6 for his career over five seasons. He's currently 21st in rebounding in the NBA ahead of players like Kristaps Porzingis, Lauri Markkanen, LeBron James, Jayson Tatum, Miles Turner and Draymond Green. (Folks, is Luka Doncic the first player to be accused of lacking the clutch rebounding gene?)
If that's not enough, Barkley went on to say that Jalen Brunson was one of the best free agent signings of all-time. He presented his case, but folded on cross examination saying, "Okay, forget that point."
Just a tremendous little stretch of just saying stuff.