Charles Barkley Still Doesn’t Understand Why Lakers Get So Many National TV Games

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charles barkley

The Los Angeles Lakers played a thrilling game against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night, erasing a 20-point third-quarter deficit to take a 13-point lead, which they promptly blew in the final three minutes before losing in overtime.

It was one of the best NBA games in a while, and luckily the whole world got to see as the game was televised nationally on TNT. Well, maybe not everyone felt to lucky.

Even though many people didn’t have high expectations for the Lakers this season, and those people have been proven right so far as their record is 11-16, the Lakers lead the league in national TV games.

This is something that NBA legend and TNT analyst Charles Barkley is clearly not happy about as he went on a rant at halftime when the Lakers were trailing to the Celtics about how he doesn’t understand why they get so many L.A. games:

First off, this is nothing new from Barkley. He has been a huge Laker hater for a while, and a lot of the time he’s been right as outside of 2020, the organization has not had much success in recent years.

If he made this same rant last season (which he probably did multiple times) then I don’t think there’s anyone, Laker fans included, that would disagree with his stance.

Lakers have played some of most entertaining games

It’s a new season though, and if Chuck has actually been watching the Lakers, he’d know that they’ve played some of the most entertaining games in the league. First there was the overtime victory against the New Orleans Pelicans after Matt Ryan hit a miracle 3 at the buzzer. Then there was a buzzer-beating loss to the Indiana Pacers when the Lakers lost rookie Andrew Nembhard for a wide-open 3. And on the recent road trip, the Lakers played two thrillers, first with a win over the Milwaukee Bucks when Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo went toe-to-toe, and then when L.A. erased a late deficit to force overtime against the Philadelphia 76ers before running out of games.

Right after Barkley went on his rant, the Lakers made a run and turned the Celtics game that he was forced to watch into another very entertaining contest.

So even though the Lakers’ record isn’t great (they are trending in the right direction after their poor 2-10 start), so far they have shown that their being on national TV is justified.

Ratings/Brand matter

And that has nothing to do with the real reason that they are on national TV so often, which is the fact that they are the biggest brand in the league with the biggest star in the league in LeBron James. TV ratings, merchandise sales, ticket sales and social media impressions will all confirm that and as someone who works in TV, Barkley should understand that.

The ironic part of Chuck’s rant is that when it comes to basketball analysis, he’s basically the Lakers of that. The analysis (or play) may not always be great, but Barkley gets eyes on the TV and is always sure to entertain, much like LeBron and the Lakers.