Charles Barkley Slams ESPN’s Coverage Prior To NBA Finals Opener

Former NBA star and current TNT analyst Charles Barkley recently expressed his frustration with ESPN’s programming choices leading up to Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks. In an interview with Outkick host Dan Dakich, Barkley called out the network for spending an excessive amount of time discussing the Los Angeles Lakers’ coaching vacancy instead of focusing on the championship series at hand.

“I was so pissed with Game 1 of the Finals and Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals coming on, for them to spend the first hour talking about, ‘What if Danny Hurley goes to the Lakers,’ I was so pissed yesterday I had to turn my TV off,” Barkley told Dakich. The 1993 NBA MVP went on to criticize ESPN’s decision-makers, questioning their intelligence for prioritizing speculation about a team that had been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs over the NBA and Stanley Cup Finals.

Barkley, who is known for his candid and often controversial remarks, expressed his fondness for UConn coach Dan Hurley, who is rumored to be the favorite to take over the Lakers’ coaching job. However, he emphasized that there is a time and place for discussing coaching vacancies, and the lead-up to the NBA and Stanley Cup Finals was not the appropriate moment.

The Celtics dominated the Mavericks in Game 1, winning 107-89 in a game that was not as close as the final score suggests. Barkley’s frustration with ESPN’s coverage highlights the importance of focusing on the games at hand, especially when it comes to the championship series in both the NBA and NHL.

As the NBA Finals continue and ESPN prepares to cover Game 2 on Sunday, it remains to be seen whether the network will shift its focus to the on-court action or continue to prioritize off-court speculation.

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