Charles Barkley On Wanting To Become A General Manager: “I am not afraid to fail. Some of these other GM’s suck already.”
Say what you want about Charles Barkley, but the man is fair with his opinions. He never has a double standard. Sir Charles even makes this point during the following interview with ESPN Radio.What better way to put a nice bow on the NBA season than talk with Barkley? The 11-time NBA All-Star also alludes to a future job that he is gunning for.Charles Barkley joined ESPN Chicago with The Waddle & Silvy Show to discuss Larry Bird walking away from the Pacers, being approached by NBA teams to be a General Manager, being a better personnel guy than Michael Jordan has been with the Bobcats, Michael Jordan believing he has done a good job with the Bobcats and his belief that LeBron James will be better than Larry Bird and Magic Johnson after his career is over.
Does it surprise you that Larry Bird is walking away from the Pacers?
“Not really. Larry Bird wanted nothing to do with the publicity or the attention. I’m actually surprised he did it as long as he did. I think he only did it because it was in Indiana. His home. That guy don’t want any attention, so it doesn’t surprise me. He’s coming off a great year. The guy is the executive of the year. He put together a good team. They got a good team for the next few years, but I think like he felt like it was his mission. He wanted to make the Pacers relevant again and now he can retire because they have been down for awhile. He actually wasn’t…I think Donnie Walsh had more control than he had. I think he wanted to bring the team back and then retire. I’d be surprised if he went anywhere to be honest with you.”
Have you been approached by any NBA teams to be a General Manager? Do you have interest in that?
“I want to do it. I had a couple of casual conversations, not this year or last year, but like three years ago when I first mentioned that I wanted to be a GM. At this rate I feel like I am going to be to be honest with you. I want that challenge. I am not afraid to fail. Trust me some of these other GM’s suck already. I’ll just be in a long line of guys who suck.”
Can you guarantee us that you will be a better personnel guy than Michael Jordan has been at this point?
“Hey man listen you guys almost got me killed. [Host: Why?] Remember the time when I came on a show and said I can’t guarantee you that Michael is going to be a good GM. Michael called me and almost killed me man! [Host: What did he say to you?] I can’t tell you. It wasn’t positive. Let me say this Michael is one of my best friends. I love him like a brother. He’s always been there for me, but I do have to do my job. I do have to do my job. Like I told him I can’t get on radio and TV and say you have done a good job no matter how much I love you. He was not happy.”
Does Michael Jordan think he has done a good job with the Bobcats?
“No I think…actually it kind have proved one of my points. I think he felt like you are my friend and you are always suppose to defend me. I actually think that is one of the reasons why he’s gotten in trouble. There ain’t nobody who loves Michael or wants Michael to win more than…I don’t…first of all I don’t want to ever do it myself. I hate when I am watching TV and all these people are talking about what a bad job he is doing because he is my friend. Michael is my legitimate friend.”
So if you were building a team today in their prime would you take LeBron James or Larry Bird?
“LeBron. [Host: Really?] Yeah. [Host: Why?] He is the better player. If you gave LeBron players like Kevin McHale or Robert Parrish he would never lose. LeBron and I have said this on television…this guy by the time he is finished. Kobe Bryant was close, but not in the same neighborhood with Michael Jordan, but this guy is just a better all around player than probably any of those guys you are going to name. [Host: What about Magic Johnson?] He is going to better than Magic.”